During remarks at the National Press Club on Tuesday, October 2, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said that print textbooks should be phased out. While the prepared speech focused on the Administration’s overall education platform, when asked if there is any proof that technology improves learning, Duncan said students should have access to great technology 24/7 so that learning happens all the time. Having those opportunities are hugely important, he commented, and the United States can either be a leader or a lagger. Technological access for all is a key piece of Obama’s equity agenda, and Duncan sees educational technology as a game changer.
“I think we should be moving from print to digital absolutely as fast as we can,” said Duncan. “Over the next couple of years, textbooks should be obsolete…this has to become where we grow as a country.”
Secretary Duncan did not provide any further details, but he did cite the Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina as an example.
The question about digital technology is at the 34:08 mark in the video from the National Press Club.
The full text of Duncan’s prepared speech can be found on the Department of Education website.