FCC Action to Expand Broadband in Schools and Libraries Can Improve Student Learning Outcomes
March 07, 2014 03:55 pm
In a new op-ed in the Huffington Post, Bob Wise – president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia – discusses how recent federal action to expand broadband in schools and libraries can improve student learning outcomes. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced on national Digital Learning Day that it will double funding for the federal E-Rate program, a program that provides high-speed Broadband connections to schools and libraries around the country. The expansion will connect 15,000 schools and 20 million students to high-speed Internet over the next five years.
Gov. Wise explains why expanding and modernizing Internet connections in the nation’s schools and libraries is critical:
“Providing high-speed internet access to schools and libraries is critical to preparing all US students to compete in an increasingly globalized world, in which 60 percent of jobs today require some form of postsecondary education. This evolving job market requires deeper learning skills such as critical thinking, communication, and the ability to research and compile information, and draw conclusions from complex data – much of which is done on computers and online. Ensuring that students graduate from high school with these skills is an increasingly large part of being college and career ready.”
Wise explores how faster Internet connections will benefit teachers, parents, and school administrators, as well as students.
“With the additional funds that the FCC has pledged to the E-Rate program to speed up Internet connections in schools and libraries, school districts can administer new, online assessments; better prepare students to compete in an increasingly globalized economy; empower teachers with online professional development and tools that make their jobs easier; and enable parents to stay active in their child’s education.”