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  (Source: montgomeryschoolsmd.org)
The ConnectED initiative will provide high-speed broadband and stable Wi-Fi networks, which will be no less than 100Mbps with a target of 1Gbps

The White House is looking to expand and strengthen broadband in K-12 schools across the U.S. in hopes of bringing a greater learning environment to 99 percent of American students. 

The White House announced the ConnectED initiative today, which aims to upgrade connectivity, train teachers and offer new hardware/software for digital learning. 

The ConnectED initiative will provide high-speed broadband and stable Wi-Fi networks, which will be no less than 100Mbps with a target of 1Gbps. 

To make this happen, the White House said it will call on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the E-Rate program, which gives 20 to 90 percent discounts to institutions that meet certain standards. In a 2012 FCC report, it was found that 80 percent of E-Rate recipients didn't receive the broadband they needed, with 78 percent saying they required more bandwidth.

The White House will also used ConnectED to bring broadband to rural communities. 

Aside from upgraded connectivity, teachers will be trained in technology so that students are benefitting from the tools provided. Teachers will also receive new digital education tools that will allow for interactive demonstrations, collaboration with other educators, immediate feedback to students and more. 

Teachers and students can't access the Internet without proper hardware, so ConnectED will also build on private sector innovation by providing Internet-connected, educational devices to students and teachers. It will also invest in educational software, including apps. 

"For the better part of the 20th century the United States led the world in educational achievement and attainment," said the White House. "Through the federal E-Rate program, we pioneered connecting schools to the internet. But the United States is now falling behind, squandering that early lead. Many of our leading competitors are moving forward with aggressive investments in digital learning and technology education. In South Korea, all schools are connected to the internet with high-speed connections, all teachers are trained in digital learning, and printed textbooks will be phased out by 2016. The durability of American competitiveness will be tied to our ability to produce graduates with the skills the economy demands."

Source: The White House



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Just another waste of money
By Nutzo on 6/6/2013 1:46:54 PM , Rating: 4
This is just another waste of federal money. I'm sure the contracts will go to a bunch of the administration's supporters, and the companies will go bankrupt after they pay out millions in executive saleries, but before they actually manage to do very many installs.

Why do K-4th grades need high speed internet access?
I can see for High school, but the lower grades.

While electronic books sound great, the cost savings are not there, especially in the lower grades. The tablets get damaged or stolen (kids are alreadying getting mugged for thier school provided iPads), and the publishers charge way to much for ebooks that have to be bought every year, unlike paper books that can be reused.




RE: Just another waste of money
By quiksilvr on 6/6/2013 2:31:20 PM , Rating: 2
By retrospooty on 6/6/2013 3:19:32 PM , Rating: 2
It must be another part of the "no child left alone" act.


RE: Just another waste of money
By spamreader1 on 6/6/2013 3:52:08 PM , Rating: 2
Have had power issues lately. The schools just shut down, and require parents to stop work, etc. and come get their kids. Never did that when I was a kid. they just opened the window blinds and we kept right on working. (and no I'm not old and didn't walk through snow uphill both ways) Of course the only exceptions were shop, and computer lab, and only to a small degree, there was always something that could be taught without power.


RE: Just another waste of money
By Nutzo on 6/6/2013 6:55:30 PM , Rating: 2
I remember around 1990, when they where wiring schools for the internet and they wired my soon-to-be wife's classroom.

They messed up the phone lines, and it took 2 days to get a working phone back in the room. A year later when she stopped working there, the single Apple II computer in the room was still not connected to the internet.


RE: Just another waste of money
By TSS on 6/6/2013 11:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
Your post just blew my mind. I'm sorry but i just cannot concieve of a school shutting down because there's no power. I can't even concieve of a school which has power shutdowns as i've never seen that happen before here.

Isn't there a stack of papers somewhere for these kids to write on? Or can't they write anymore without a keyboard? No markers or, shock, chalk for a blackboard? Do these kids need artificial light like vampires? (don't tell me they can't work in the sunlight because of all the glitters).

I'm serious how do you shut down a school because there's no power?! I'm only 26 years yet when i went to school, even if the teacher wasn't there they'd find you another teacher. Just to stick you in a room and keep you quiet.


RE: Just another waste of money
By BRB29 on 6/7/2013 9:19:37 AM , Rating: 2
When the school is shut down due to power failure, it has nothing to do with the internet or computers. They send people home because it is unsafe due to poor visibility and hardly any ventilation. If it is in the summer or winter then you have even worse problems.

Power issues are extremely rare. Even the schools in the ghetto only have power issues maybe 1-3 days out of the entire year. It's usually only for an hour or less.


RE: Just another waste of money
By CaedenV on 6/7/2013 2:24:26 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for bringing this up. School closings due to power loss have nothing to do with computers and everything to do with things like ADA, and modern construction methods which rely on at least some power in order to maintain decent temperatures in buildings. Also, it typically has to be an outage expected to last more than 2 hours before they have to close, and this goes for most government facilities, not just schools.

But when was the last time there was a sustained power outage in an area that was not coupled with massive destruction which would cause school closures anyways? Sure, the US power grid is getting old and in need of some updating, but it is still quite robust. A few years ago we had some hurricane remnants blow through my area. It caused all sorts of destruction because things are not built for such high winds out here, but even still schools and other high priority areas had power back within a week while some residential areas were without power for up to 5 weeks.
At my own home we lost power for ~2 hours because we are right on a main line... but internet was down for a month. Never realized just how much I rely on the web for just about everything from work to entertainment until then.


RE: Just another waste of money
By StanO360 on 6/6/2013 7:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
This is a State and local issue, more government grandstanding and wasted money, unintended consequences, and schools buying things that they don't really value over things they truly need. Will probably add to the already bloated administrative personnel that most schools suffer from.


RE: Just another waste of money
By sm6184 on 6/7/2013 9:27:40 AM , Rating: 2
HD streaming of educational materials. A year ago I left working in IT for a district that had a dozen buildings, 7 or 8 of which were in that grade range. Every classroom had a Smartboard in the room (and therefor a projector obviously.) This provided outstanding opportunities for incredible educational video to be streamed. But you need the bandwidth to be able to be streaming to over a hundred classrooms in the district at any given time.


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