SILVER SPRING, Md., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Discovery Education, the leading provider of K-12 digital textbooks in the U.S., and Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization chartered by Congress to spur innovation in education, in conjunction with Connect2Compete, ERDI, ISTE, NCERT and other leading national and state-level education organizations, today launched the inaugural Future@Now: Transition to Digital Classrooms conference to discuss one of the most important issues in education today - the state of digital learning and its impact on college and workforce readiness.
Held today at Discovery Education's global headquarters and streamed live nationwide, it marked the first such event by the organization and set the stage for an announcement of a new national initiative to provide free trial access to digital textbooks for educators across the country.
Launching a year after the FCC and DOE's Digital Textbook Playbook initiative, the goal of the Future@Now: Transition to Digital Classrooms conference is to raise awareness about the benefits of digital learning and celebrate the successes of districts that have already deployed digital textbooks in meaningful ways in their classrooms. The conference also is designed to drive discussion among education thought-leaders, school district leaders and members of the business community on the challenges of transitioning to digital learning, the impact of digital resources on students and educators, and opportunities to advance the adoption of innovative digital tools in order to best prepare today's students for the careers of tomorrow.Author of the "Transforming Education through Technology Act" and the most Senior Democratic Member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee Congressman George Miller (D-CA) joined a number of senior policy-makers, educational thought leaders, superintendents, business and foundation leaders to give exclusive insight into the transition to digital learning environments. "There is a new imperative of digital learning in this country. The classroom has already evolved in such amazing ways and must continue to do so for us to compete on the world stage," said Congressman Miller. "The digitization of America's classrooms is one of the most important issues we as a society can tackle today." To support educators in taking the first-step toward transitioning to digital learning environments, ISTE, Connect2Compete, Digital Promise and Discovery Education announced that beginning this month educators across the country will be given trial access to Discovery Education's Techbook™ series, the award-winning series of digital textbooks featuring K-12 science; physics, chemistry and biology; and middle school social studies. In addition to providing free trial access to its digital textbooks, Discovery Education and ISTE will also provide educators with the opportunity to participate in more than 40 virtual professional development sessions, also at no cost, to support educators in effective classroom implementation of digital tools.