SETDA’s emphasizes the Importance of Increased High-Speed Broadband in K-12 Education
SETDA released its Broadband Imperative III, and the report shows the global economy depends on reliable and robust access to the Internet. From job searches and banking, to shopping and entertainment, digital tools and online resources touch every aspect of our lives—in the personal and professional realms and, increasingly, in education. New technologies have greatly expanded learning opportunities, and broadband access to those resources is reshaping the K-12 educational landscape.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) recently released their Broadband Imperative III, in which they provide clear guidance for states and school districts regarding broadband implementation and planning. We found SETDA’s report to be comprehensive and illuminating and wanted to share some highlights with you.
The report finds that virtually all of our nation’s schools have access to the Internet, but the quality and type of connectivity vary greatly. Cost-effective and equitable access to high-speed broadband is the foundation upon which today’s schools create powerful digital learning experiences, and reliable high-speed broadband access allows teachers to utilize digital tools to cultivate student-centered, personalized learning. This is something we’ve long championed at Velocity Fiber. Educators have shared with us that they are more effective and efficient when they have access to fast, reliable Internet.
This report also emphasizes the importance of comprehensive broadband planning to meet the needs of teachers and students to avoid a technology disruption, which happens when there’s inadequate bandwidth for a teacher to utilize a technology in the classroom.
“Schools and districts should strategically plan for reliable, high-speed networks to support sustained, seamless access to the Internet for the implementation of administrative tools . . . and teaching and learning activities, without disruption. Districts should consider the recommended peak utilization bandwidth capacity goals and WAN implementation considerations as a guide and then plan accordingly for current and future needs as they move to digital age teaching and learning environments.”
SETDA, Broadband Imperative III
SETDA’s report outlines a number of additional recommendations for policy makers and school leaders:
- Leverage technology for innovative pedagogical approaches
- Ensure digital access and equity
- Plan infrastructure for the future
- Build networks for the future
- Influence federal and state policies and funding
Today’s connected classrooms foster engaging and collaborative learning, with virtual reality promising to create even more dynamic learning opportunities that often extend beyond the walls of the classroom. Regardless of geography, every school deserves to be connected to all that technology offers, whether a school is in a small rural town or a crowded urban center. Velocity Fiber continues to explore opportunities to help schools fully embrace digital technology through optical fiber networks that serve broadband-intensive, student-centered learning models in K-12 districts, as well as educational research in colleges and universities.
You can read SETDA’s full report online here.