President Barack Obama is totally rocking this last-year-in-office thing. He's actively combating the problems of gun violence and shoddy mental healthcare in the U.S. and moving forward on his plan to close Gitmo. Now, he's giving back to the education community, as the Obamas release $250M in e-books to Title I and special education teachers.
Last July, President Obama announced the ConnectED initiative, which would "strengthen learning opportunities by improving access to digital content and to public libraries." ConnectED has two parts, one of which is the ConnectED Library Challenge, which aims "to put a library card into every student’s hand so they will have access to the learning resources and books they can read for pleasure."
The Obamas' release is the other half of ConnectED, the culmination of the White House plan to acquire and provide e-books to low-income students, their teachers, and librarians. Now named Open eBooks, the digital app gives these students and instructors access to $250M in e-books from 10 major publishers, plus public domain materials. EdSurge reports:
The app is open to any educator, student or administrator at one of the 66,000+ Title I schools or any of the 194 Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools in the United States. Additionally, White House reps report that any of the hundreds of thousands of special education teachers in the country—no matter what type of school they work for—also have access.
Teachers and librarians who wish to sign up for Open eBooks can visit the app's website. If you cannot sign up, please pass along the news to anyone you know who is. Giving children from low-income families access to books is one way we can all help to level the academic playing field.