February 16, 2006
posted online February 24, 2006
TECH 2006: bridging the digital divide in
State of Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – Thursday, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn
celebrated TECH 2006: Students for The Information Age with
tech-savvy students from across the state. Quinn also urged
passage of the I-Connect Initiative.
"We salute the students, parents and teachers who are
dedicated to integrating technology into the modern
classroom," Quinn said. "Providing a 21st century
learning atmosphere is essential to preparing our students for
the 21st century workplace."
TECH 2006 is organized by a volunteer group of educators and
business leaders who are committed to increasing awareness about
classroom technology and the way it prepares students for an
information-based society. Students from across Illinois
demonstrated the way technology in their schools is helping them
achieve higher levels in reading, math and other subjects.
Lt. Governor Quinn is committed to increasing access to
classroom technology for all Illinois students. That’s why
Quinn and Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Matteson) are supporting the
I-Connect Initiative, which last week passed unanimously out of
the Illinois House Computer Technology Committee.
The I-Connect Initiative is a pilot program and the first step
toward bridging the digital divide. In Downstate Illinois, 78
schools – two from each Regional Office of Education
district – will participate in the program. In the Chicago
Metropolitan Area, 70 schools will participate, including 30 in
Priority will be given to schools with at least 40 percent
low-income student enrollment.
Each participating school will receive laptops for every
seventh-grade student and their classroom teacher. All laptops
will be equipped with science and math tutorials, word
processing, note taking, spreadsheet software, and a warranty. In
addition, educators will benefit from professional development
opportunities and schools will receive technical assistance to
aid in developing a school-based laptop network.
"No Illinois child should be left on the wrong side of
the digital divide," Quinn said. "I urge our state
legislators to pass the I-Connect Initiative."
Lt. Governor Quinn serves as Chairman of the Broadband
Deployment Council. The Council was created under Executive Order
in September to address Internet access needs for all Illinois
citizens and to help bridge the digital divide.
For more information about the I-Connect Initiative visit