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Monday, April 30, 2012 - 3:07pm

Governor Creates Digital Education Task Force

Governor Nathan Deal has signed an executive order creating a task force to implement digital learning in Georgia’s K-12 schools.

The Governor says “Students need to develop technical literacy in order to attain 21st century skills and become competitive in the global marketplace, and our state will invest in that education. We must increase the quality and quantity of our digital learning opportunities to ensure that our students are college or career ready.”

The Digital Learning Task Force will recommend ways to improve student achievement through the creation of digital learning environments. That may include the transition to digital textbooks and the use of wireless devices.

Brian Robinson, Governor Nathan Deal's Deputy Chief of Staff, says the task force will look at how to train students on digital technology.

One thing the panel will consider is giving students digital tablets, rather than textbooks.

“All education systems are going to be investing heavily in new technology, in digital learning in the years to come. And Georgia, the Governor wants it to be in the forefront of that.”

Tim Callahan with the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, says it will come down to how to pay for the technology. He says currently some
school districts don’t even have enough textbooks.

“ In many parts of our state, the poorer parts of our state, there are some shortages of textbooks and basic supplies.”

Robinson says in the long term, it could be cheaper to buy students tablets and get rid of textbooks.

Calvine Rollins, President of the Georgia Association of Educators, says this will allow students to have the most updated material.

“It’s the opportunity for our textbooks to be updated, because many of our textbooks are outdated in many of our systems.”

But hurdles include how to pay for the technology statewide, and how to ensure the schools keep up with the changes in technology.

The Governor will name ten members to the task force. They will include two superintendents, a state representative, a state senator, a district-level content specialist and business leaders who rely on a technically competent workforce.

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