Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

E-Rate Reform Begins at Home: More Bandwidth for Schools Is Not Enough for Today's Digital Learners

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

E-Rate Reform Begins at Home: More Bandwidth for Schools Is Not Enough for Today's Digital Learners

Article excerpt

IF WE KNOW ANYTHING at all about the impact of technology on learning, we know that students must be able to use it when they need it, as long as they need it. Studies from Project RED and other research initiatives have shown that ubiquitous access is a necessary (although certainly not sufficient) condition for technology to have a positive impact on student learning outcomes and behaviors. Hence, the move by so many districts toward a 1-to-1 computing ratio.

But here's the not-so-secret secret about 1-to-1 access: anytime and anywhere doesn't just mean during the school day. For technology to have its truest impact, students need to be able to do research, use productivity tools, get instruction, engage with text, and practice skills (remedial or otherwise) at home, too. And as more and more of these educational resources become web- or cloud-based, the need for sufficient bandwidth at home becomes the final, and critical, frontier in learning connectivity.

With the E-Rate reform now under consideration, the FCC has the opportunity to redefine equitable access, which is now less about the device and more about connectivity. …

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