Obama's Plan for High-Speed Connections in Schools and Libraries

Obama's Plan for High-Speed Connections in Schools and Libraries

Everyday we hear from the edtech community about awesome new teaching tools available on the web. But what's the point if teachers and students can't use them?

Today, the federal government's stepping up to make sure that classrooms across the U.S. will be able to access the innovative digital content and services that entrepreneurs have built.

Along with his visit to schools in Mooresville, NC, President Obama announced the launch of ConnectED initiative, which calls upon the Federal Communications Commission to "connect 99 percent of America's students to the digital age through next-generation broadband and high-speed wireless in their schools and libraries" within five years.

Two non-profit organizations, the State Educational Technology Directors Association and EducationSuperHighway, recommend that K-12 schools be able to access the Internet today at a speed of 100 Mbps+ (per 1,000 students), and 1 Gbps+ by 2017.

Beginning last fall, EducationSuperHighway asked schools around the country to take a one-minute speed test to provide a better view of the current situation. COO Jean Chang shared with EdSurge that "we've collected about a quarter million tests which show that 73% of schools nationally are not ready for next-generation assessments."

The ConnectED initiative also calls upon the Department of Education to invest in professional development so teachers can better make use of digital technology in the classrooms.

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