School & District Management

Report Sets K-12 Broadband Goals for 2014-15

By Katie Ash — May 21, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A new report released today from the State Educational Technology Directors Association outlines four key recommendations for creating ubiquitous, equitable broadband access for K-12 schools. The report, called The Broadband Imperative, builds on a 2008 report from SETDA about broadband needs.

“Technology is no longer a nice-to-have,” said Christine Fox, the director of educational leadership and research for SETDA in a webcast press briefing about the report on Monday. Broadband should be seen as a utility that is necessary for education, rather than an “add-on” she said. That access to the Internet is necessary in order for education to mirror the society in which students will go on to pursue jobs, she added.

The four recommendations are as follows:

1. Schools in the 2014-15 academic year should be able to provide at least 100 megabytes per 1,000 students and staff for an external Internet connection, and at least 1 gigabyte per 1,000 students and staff for an internal wide area network.
2. In addition to providing broadband within schools, the federal government, states, and districts should also assume responsibility for ensuring broadband access outside of schools—in homes, as well as public places such as libraries and community centers.
3. State leaders should provide a vision for expanding adequate and ubiquitous broadband access to schools, libraries, and community centers. This could mean working with a state broadband network or working with school districts directly to leverage federal and public-private partnerships to achieve those goals.
4. The federal government should provide funding for broadband access to help support statewide networks, schools and districts, community centers and libraries, as well as home access for low-income families.

Schools also need to keep in mind that they are no longer planning for just 1-to-1 environments, but 1-to-many, said Fox, from SETDA, as many students now have multiple devices that they expect to be able to use to access the Internet, such as smartphones, tablet computers, and laptops.

The SETDA report provides an important step to achieving adequate broadband access by setting a specific goal for how much broadband schools and districts should have in place by a specific date, said Karen Cator, the director of the office of educational technology for the U.S Department of Education, who also attended the Monday briefing in Washington.

“We need to figure out how to leverage all of [the different broadband strategies] to make sure that every school and every home has access to broadband,” she said.

In addition, representatives from states and school districts, including Jeff Mao, the learning technology policy director at the Maine Department of Education, and John Miller, the assistant director of the office of instructional technology for the West Virginia Department of Education, shared their experiences with broadband networks and technology needs in their respective states.

All the participants in the briefing talked about how the Common Core State Standards will provide an unprecedented opportunity for collaboration between states, much of which will depend on having a strong broadband connection.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management Some Teachers Won't Get Vaccinated, Even With a Mandate. What Should Schools Do About It?
Vaccine requirements for teachers are gaining traction, but the logistics of upholding them are complicated.
9 min read
Illustration of a vaccine, medical equipment, a clock and a calendar with a date marked in red.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management A Vaccine for Kids Is Coming. 6 Tips for Administering the Shot in Your School
Start planning now, get help, and build enthusiasm. It's harder than it looks.
11 min read
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student at Topeka West, gets a COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read
School & District Management How 'Vaccine Discrimination' Laws Make It Harder for Schools to Limit COVID Spread
In Montana and Ohio, the unvaccinated are a protected class, making it tough to track and contain outbreaks, school leaders say.
4 min read
Principal and District Superintendent Bonnie Lower takes the temperature of a student at Willow Creek School as the school reopened, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Willow Creek, Mont.
Bonnie Lower, a principal and district superintendent in Willow Creek, Mont., checks the temperature of a student as Willow Creek School reopened for in-person instruction in the spring.
Ryan Berry/Bozeman Daily Chronicle via AP