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Just "DO IT"

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

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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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    Michael Feldstein
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