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Just "DO IT"

By Michael Feldstein, Lisa Neal, Ken Korman / September 2006

TYPE: OPINION
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As eLearn Magazine marks its fifth year of publication, we can think of no better way to celebrate the past and ensure a bright future for e-learning than by urging the support and passage of the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust Act. If passed, the act would create a Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT), generating an estimated $1 billion annually from interest on money acquired from the impending sale of analog television spectrum. The roadmap for the trust's activities, developed by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), offers a number of revolutionary possibilities:

  • Exponential growth of free, high-quality educational content: DO IT will fund the digitization of content in libraries and museums across the United States, as well as the creation of substantial new content. With the level of resources available under the trust, the dream of universally accessible materials for cradle-to-grave education can finally come true.
  • Solving of the hard problems: DO IT will provide the funds necessary to crack some of the critical but elusive goals of educational technology development, including authentic assessment tools, intelligent tutoring systems, and immersive simulation development environments. These developments could have a very substantial impact on the quality of education.
  • Fostering a coherent online educational experience: The DO IT roadmap includes further development of interoperability standards. With these standards, educational tools and content can be combined into a coherent experience for the learners rather than the disjointed jumble of separate tools and resources that it often is today.
  • Elimination of toll roads to education: Content and technologies funded by DO IT will be released into the public domain. Teachers and students all over the world will have access to them at no cost.

Educators DO IT Together

Although the Digital Promise Act is building momentum within Congress, its passage is not yet assured—you can do something about that. If you are a United States citizen, go to Digital Promise's Take Action page. There you will be able to contact your Congressional Representative and Senators in support of the legislation. If you are not a United States citizen, tell your American friends and urge them to write their legislators.

eLearn Magazine has grown to what it is today through your participation. As we look to our collective future, we remain as proud and confident as ever that you will continue to do your part in improving education.



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ADDITIONAL READING

    Michael Feldstein
  1. When Weblogs Can Be Harmful
  2. Informational cascades in online learning
  3. Unbolting the chairs
  4. A call to arms
  5. There's no such thing as a learning object
  6. Designing usable, self-paced e-learning courses
  7. Want better courses?
  8. The digital promise
  9. Desperately seeking software simulations
  10. Do you really need reusability?
  11. How to design recyclable learning objects
  12. Ill-served
  13. What's important in a learning content management system
  14. Disaster and opportunity
  15. 'E-Moderating' by Gilly Salmon and 'In Good Company The Secrets to Successful Learning Communities' by Don Cohen and Laurence Prusak
  16. In defense of online learning (and veggie burgers)
  17. Back to the future: what's next after learning objects
  18. What is usable e-learning?
  19. Ignore usability at your peril
  20. Don't Just Teach to the Metrics
  21. E-learning basics: essay: developing your e-learning for your learners
  22. Ken Korman
  23. Exploring the digital universe
  24. Lisa Neal
  25. Online learning and fun
  26. In search of simplicity
  27. eLearning and fun
  28. Everything in moderation
  29. The basics of e-learning
  30. Is it live or is it Memorex?
  31. The Value of Voice
  32. Predictions for 2006
  33. Five Questions...for Christopher Dede
  34. Five Questions... for John Seely Brown
  35. Five questions...for Shigeru Miyagawi
  36. "Deep" thoughts
  37. 5 questions... for Richard E. Mayer
  38. Designing usable, self-paced e-learning courses
  39. Want better courses?
  40. Five questions...
  41. Formative evaluation
  42. Senior service
  43. Blogging to learn and learning to blog
  44. My life as a Wikipedian
  45. Five questions...for Elliott Masie
  46. The stripper and the bogus online degree
  47. Five questions...for Lynn Johnston
  48. Five questions...for Tom Carey
  49. Not all the world's a stage
  50. Five questions...for Karl M. Kapp
  51. Five questions...for Larry Prusack
  52. Five questions...for Seb Schmoller
  53. Do distance and location matter in e-learning?
  54. Why do our K-12 schools remain technology-free?
  55. Music lessons
  56. Learn to apologize for fun and profit
  57. Of web hits and Britney Spears
  58. Advertising or education?
  59. Five questions…for Matt DuPlessie
  60. Back to the future
  61. Serious games for serious topics
  62. Five (or six) questions...for Irene McAra-McWilliam
  63. Learner on the Orient Express
  64. Predictions For 2003
  65. "Spot Learning"
  66. Q&A with Saul Carliner
  67. When will e-learning reach a tipping point?
  68. Talk to me
  69. Q&A with Diana Laurillard
  70. Do it yourself
  71. Degrees by mail
  72. Predictions for 2004
  73. How to get students to show up and learn
  74. Q&A
  75. Blended conferences
  76. Predictions for 2002
  77. Learning from e-learning
  78. Storytelling at a distance
  79. Q&A with Don Norman