More students across New York will have the opportunity to learn in connected classrooms and acquire the communication, collaboration, creativity and critical-thinking skills they need to thrive in the global economy thanks to the Smart Schools Bond Act, a nearly $2 billion investment for ed tech. New York voters approved this unprecedented statewide investment on Nov. 4.
From the measure's introduction to its approval, ISTE and NYSCATE advocated for the Smart Schools Act by urging the state Legislature to pass the bond act and Gov. Cuomo to sign it. Throughout the campaign, ed tech advocates talked about the positive impact this initiative would have on learning for students in all corners of the state. Their shared examples illustrated how learning and teaching evolves when students and teachers have access to digital age tools. Voters understood their vision for education and passed the Smart Schools Bond Act.
The Smart Schools Bond Act will provide nearly $2 billion for technology resources so students can graduate with the skills they need to thrive in the economies of today and tomorrow. With funding from the Smart Schools Bond Act, schools can:
Acquire the equipment they need, such as computer servers, interactive whiteboards, desktops, laptops and tablets to give students access to the wide universe of digital content and online resources.
Install high-speed broadband and wireless connectivity, which will allow students in multiple classrooms to stream videos, collaborate on projects, create content, participate in classroom debates and go on virtual field trips without running out of bandwidth.
Expand PK programs and replace classroom trailers with permanent space.
It is critical that we continue to enhance and expand digital age learning. Initiatives like this one, when implemented with the ISTE Standards in mind, will transform learning and help students effectively use technology and digital content.
See how New York school districts will benefit from the funds from the Smart Schools Bond Act, and check out the New York Smart Schools Commission report. Then join the ISTE Advocacy Network and help transform learning in your community.
Hilary Goldmann, ISTE's senior director of government relations, has more than 20 years of experience in public policy and advocacy. Follow her on Twitter @hgoldmann.