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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2006

Gov. Blagojevich, Lt. Gov Quinn, State Board of Education announce Technology Immersion pilot project schools
New initiative provides “one-to-one” educational technology learning programs in Illinois’ schools

SPRINGFIELD– Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois State Board of Education today announced the selection of seven school districts across Illinois to participate in the Technology Immersion Pilot Project. More than 1,700 students from these seven school districts will benefit from their own lap-top computers as they learn in a “One-to-One” environment. 
 
“We live in a technology-driven age where computers are essential tools in most industries and workplaces.  But computers can also be valuable tools as part of the learning process.  With this pilot program, we’ll give students another resource for learning and, at the same time, help them develop technology skills that will help them compete when they’re finished with school and ready to enter the workforce,” said Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
 
The $5 million in funding will assist school districts in immersing teachers, students and administrators into a technology-rich environment known as a ‘One-to-One Learning Environment.’ The unique element of a ‘One-to-One’ environment is that a laptop computer is provided to each student, teacher and relevant administrator, so that teaching and learning can occur anytime anywhere. The laptops will also help with science and math education. During the 2006-2007 school year, laptops will be provided to 1,753 students. The seven participating school districts have all selected to target 6th graders for the three-year initiative.
 
“Today’s generation of students has more technology at its fingertips than any other previous generation. In most cases, the use of that technology – whether it’s the Internet, cell phones, or online message boards – has happened outside the classroom,” said State School Superintendent Randy Dunn. “Now, in conjunction with the administration’s continuous efforts to bridge the digital divide in Illinois, we are working to make that technology available as a teaching and learning tool for our state’s future leaders.”
 
The three-year Technology Immersion program’s legislation was passed in 2004, but did not receive funding until FY07. If lawmakers are successful in extending the program and funding is available, then the program will be extended for two additional years beyond this school year.
 
“No Illinois child should be left on the wrong side of the digital divide,” said Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn. “Laptops are the textbooks of tomorrow, and I salute these schools for participating in an innovative program which helps their students learn anytime and anywhere.”
 
SCHOOL DISTRICTS AWARDED GRANTS
 
  • City of Chicago School District 299
  • Community Consolidated School District 59 (Arlington Heights)
  • Woodstock Community Unit School District 200
  • Joliet Public School District 86
  • Springfield School District 186
  • Southeastern Community Unit School District 337 (Bowen)
  • Calhoun Community Unit District 40
 
Since taking office, Governor Blagojevich has provided almost $21 million to advance technology skills training to help people of all ages access the tools they need to succeed in today's high-tech world through the Eliminate the Digital Divide and High-Tech School to Work Programs.
 
More information about Lt. Gov. Quinn’s other technology initiatives can be found online at: http://www.standingupforillinois.org/connect/.


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