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Bill Pushes for More Electronic Learning

A bill that would expand what is considered a textbook is moving on to the Indiana House.

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Photo: Flickr: Courtesy, Greenasian

A bill on its way to the state House would encourage electronic learning.

Students in Indiana schools could soon be working more from their iPad and less from textbooks under terms of a bill passed out of the House Education Committee Monday.  The bill seeks to expand what may be considered a textbook, taking into account both the changing nature of information and a push by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett for more electronic learning.  The bill’s author, Garret Representative and schoolteacher David Yarde, says he agrees with a Department of Education assessment that the six-year cycle on which the state currently replaces textbooks is outdated.

“We’ve had some series – maybe a math series – that has been very solid.  But it’s working and it is meeting the needs of the student and it is producing very, very good; very positive test scores.  There are some other pieces of the curriculum that should have been gone three or four years ago, but because we’re locked into that six-year cycle, we were not able to do that,” Yarde said.

But Terre Haute Representative Clyde Kersey took issue with a tenet of the bill which allows school corporations to keep using books they feel are effective, rather than going to a wholesale electronic approach.

“The world can change a lot in six years.  You know, there’s new political boundaries, there’s new discoveries in sciences and in math and so on.  And if we expect our children to score the highest on tests – ISTEP tests and others – they need to have the information that’s going to take place in that six-year period,” he said.

Kersey and Crown Point Representative Shelli VanDenburgh voted against the bill, but it passed by a 10-2 tally and moves on to the House floor.

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