School Infrastructure

Only 28% of Districts Have Enough Bandwidth to Use Digital Learning Every Day

As America’s classrooms become increasingly connected, the nation inches ever closer to reaching a major milestone: 100 percent of schools with high-speed internet access, defined as at least 100 kbps (or 100 thousand bits per second) per student.But what was once the gold standard for high speed is now barely enough to keep pace with modern learning environments, according to Evan Marwell, CEO of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, which released its annual State of the States report Tuesday.

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There Is No ‘I’ in Interoperability

Sure—the letter “I” is used three times to spell “interoperability.” But look beyond the word, as clunky and confusing as it may seem, and focus instead on its essence and the possibilities that are inherent in its definition.What is interoperability? Simply put, it is the ability for systems and applications to interact and exchange data. When put into context for educational technology, interoperability means that all of the digital content, tools, and resources used by teachers and students work well together. Consider this example:

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Does It Make More Sense to Invest in School Security or SEL?

School security is a constant challenge, but tragedies such as the shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students in February bring the issue front and center. After the Parkland shooting, lawmakers from both parties saw the need for action.

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Why the FCC’s E-rate Makes Funding High-Speed Internet a Slow Crawl

It’s one of the cruelest ironies in education: today’s schools must build and maintain robust high-speed, fiber-optic internet connections. But the process involved in finding funds for these upgrades can feel like a laggy dial-up modem, slow to a crawl—when it’s not cutting out completely.

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Advancing Data Interoperability in Public Education—3 Pain Points and Their Solutions

Remember your paper mache days? Globbing a bunch of unrelated newspaper scraps together to assemble a lumpy self-portrait? Now imagine that in order to evaluate what you learned, your teacher has to carefully deconstruct your mask, read each gluey snippet, and make a determination about your learning. A lack of data interoperability in education is like asking a teacher to understand a student’s performance by:

Passwords, Permissions and Student Data—How One District Got Account Provisioning Right

The adoption of online educational resources has placed applications and digital files at the center of the teaching and learning experience in K-12 schools. As the number of students and teachers who must log on, sign in, or register to access those materials grows, so does the challenge faced by the IT departments charged with managing that access. Indeed, keeping digital resources front and center requires behind-the-scenes coordination when creating, managing, and provisioning access for all.

Months After a Devastating Hurricane, Puerto Rican Schools Turn to the Sun

Orocovis, Puerto Rico—Eight months after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, more than 500 families in this small town in central Puerto Rico remain without power. But one school here has managed to get the lights back on by switching to solar power, part of an island-wide move to rethink utilities that are often taken as a given elsewhere.

Goodbye Cash and Checks—Here's How to Choose a Safe and Effective School Payment System

School expenses, such and lunch and field trips, are big business in United States. Paying for these expenses is a huge logistical headache for most parents. Every year families across the country hand over more than $41 billion to their children’s schools to cover everything from after-school care to athletics, field trips to fundraising, and more. Incredibly, the vast majority of these payments are made in-person, with cash or personal checks.

Looking for Lasting Change? Start Talking to Other Departments.

In many K-12 districts, the IT department establishes the technology, the curriculum department develops the instructional methodologies and most of the physical classroom components are either leftover from the 1970s or purchased and implemented without a plan of deployment with the instructional teams that will use them.

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After Net Neutrality, Experts Expect Changes to FCC’s E-Rate

It’s no great overstatement to say that the Federal Communications Commission’s recent decision to rollback net neutrality protections has shaken the education community’s faith in open and equitable internet access for all students.I understand there are concerns about [Ajit] Pai. But the tea leaves for E-Rate are pretty positive actually.
John Harrington, Funds for Learning

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