FCC Adopts Landmark E-Rate Modernization Order on July 11


Today, the Federal Communications Commission adopted an E-rate Modernization Order that will expand Wi-Fi networks in schools and libraries across America. The new rules are the next major step in a comprehensive modernization of E-rate, the first such effort since the program’s creation 18 years ago. The program increases focus on the largest and most urgent need—closing the Wi-Fi gap—while transitioning support away from legacy technologies to 21st Century broadband connectivity, ensuring E-rate money is spent smartly, and improving program administration. The reform will expand Wi-Fi to more than 10 million students in 2015 alone.

The Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) adopted by the FCC accomplishes three major goals:

Closes the Wi-Fi Gap

  • Sets an annual funding target of $1 billion for Wi-Fi while ensuring support continues to be available for broadband connectivity to schools and libraries.
  • Directs at least $1 billion in support for Wi-Fi for Funding Years 2015 and 2016 to connect over 10 million students and thousands of libraries each year by establishing reasonable budgets for applicants.
  • Allows support for Wi-Fi purchased as a managed service and caching servers through the new internal connections funding mechanism.
  • Continued use of new Wi-Fi funding methodology after Funding Year 2016 will be evaluated as part of a review of the long-term funding needs of the program.
  • Increases support targeted for Wi-Fi in rural school districts substantially – a nearly 75 percent increase; and targets a nearly 60 percent increase in urban and suburban districts.
  • Begins a multi-year transition of all program funding to broadband, by gradually phasing down support for non-broadband services.
  • Adopts clear broadband goals to measure overall program success, while maintaining local flexibility to determine the needs of individual schools and libraries.

Maximizes E-rate Spending

  • Incentivizes consortia and bulk purchasing.
  • Increases transparency on how E-rate dollars are spent and on prices charged for E-rate services.

Makes the E-rate Administration and Application Processes Faster, Simpler, More Efficient.

  • Streamlines the process for multi-year applications.
  • Expedites process for small dollar, cost-effective applications.
  • Speeds review of all applications.
  • Moves to electronic filing of all documents.
  • Simplifies discount calculations.
  • Strengthens efforts to combat waste, fraud and abuse by toughening document retention and site inspection rules.

By taking action today, the Commission has ensured that the new E-rate rules will be in place in time to support Wi-Fi upgrades across the country beginning in the 2015-2016 school year.

The FNPRM Seeks Comment on:

  • Long-term program funding needs necessary to meet goals and funding targets established in the Order.
  • Further steps to facilitate the use of cost-effective consortium-based purchasing.
  • Alternative methodologies for allocating support for library Wi-Fi connectivity.

Building on Success

Today’s Order builds on the top-to-bottom administrative review of the E-rate program that was the first stage of Chairman Wheeler’s comprehensive approach to modernization.

This administrative review is already delivering huge dividends

Brings E-rate into the 21st Century

New digital learning technologies are opening new opportunities for students, teachers and library patrons.

  • In schools, emerging educational technology allows an increasingly interactive and individualized learning environment and expands school boundaries through distance learning applications.
  • In libraries, high-speed broadband access provides patrons the ability to apply for jobs; interact with federal,state, local, and Tribal government agencies; engage in life-long learning; and stay in touch with friends and family.
  • The plummeting costs of tablets and netbooks, increasing Wi-Fi speeds, and innovative cloud-based software are allowing this technological transformation of learning, much of which would have been impossible five years ago.

But too many U.S. schools and libraries lack the infrastructure necessary to fully utilize today’s learning technologies—particularly when it comes to Wi-Fi in the classroom.

  • Three out of five schools in America lack the Wi-Fi needed to deploy 21st Century educational tools.
  • Half of school buildings have older, slower internal wiring that won’t carry data at today’s broadband speeds.

Download a copy at http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2014/db0711/DOC-328172A2.pdf

Statements from some of the Commissioners are available on the FCC website at http://www.fcc.gov/

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New Searchable, Free Teaching Resources on Climate and Energy in the CLEAN Collection Grades K-16

Looking for well-vetted resources on climate and energy literacy for the classroom?CLEAN has just launched a brand new, searchable portal of online learning activities, videos and visualizations on climate and energy.

The Brand New CLEAN Portal offers the following resources and support:

1. The CLEAN search engine directs you to online activities, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy that are searchable by grade level, topic, and resource type. These resources have been reviewed by scientists and educators for accuracy and classroom effectiveness and provide additional insight and guidance on using the materials.

2. Join the vibrant CLEAN Network email list for updates on educational policies and science, discussions with experts, conference & workshop announcements, and weekly telecons (Tuesdays at 1 pm ET). Join the CLEAN Network email list by contacting joincleannetwork@cleanet.org.

3. Follow the CLEAN team on facebook or twitter to see featured resources from the CLEAN Portal as well as climate extensions to help you stay up-to-date on the latest climate and energy literacy news!

4. CLEAN’s guidance on teaching climate and energy science provides a set of essential principles to frame the science and inform your teaching strategies. Learn more about these scientific principles, why they are important and challenging to learn, strategies for teaching age groups, and get directed to relevant activities, videos, and visualizations for each principle.

CLEAN Principal Investigators:
Dr. Tamara S. Ledley, TERC, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Susan B. Sullivan, University of Colorado, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), Boulder, CO
Dr. Cathy Manduca, Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, Northfield, MN

Find out more at http://cleanet.org/index.html

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NHSTE Announces Chris Nelson Memorial Grant Winners!

Congratulations to the 2014 
Chris Nelson Memorial Grant winners:
Cloud Connected Geospatial Mapping 
Team Leader Robert Woolner and Hopkinton Middle High School
Data Collectors with Raspberry Pi
Team Leader Holly Doe and Pelham High School and Elementary School
To Learn more about the NHSTE grant program, visit the Chris Nelson Memorial Grant Page
Take a look at the first grant recipients, HHES,  and learn about their 

Flipped Classroom Project

Stay tuned to nhste.org for more information about the projects, blog postings and pictures starting in September.

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NHGA, NHEdGIS & NHDOE Receives Special Achievement Award for Exceptional Application of Geospatial Technology


Redlands, California—July 16, 2014 NHGA, NHEdGIS & NHDOE received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California held July 16, 2014. This award acknowledges vision, leadership, hard work, and innovative use of Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology.

NHGA, NHEdGIS &NHDOE uses Esri ArcGIS technology to support geographic education in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is a small state with limited capacity for meeting GIS professional development needs, both in terms of population and in the financial support of education. With the invaluable logistical support of the NHDOE, NHEdGIS has gathered experts in classroom instruction, GIS technology, and content from NH public schools, Keene State College, UNHGTTC, St. Anselm College, NHF&G and the USFS. Together, they are able to provide high-quality, meaningful professional development that supports the statewide K-12 license, allowing the many teachers who enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to bring GIS technology to their classrooms. This also creates a network of GIS users in the state that support each other. The statewide GIS license for K-12 education would not have been possible without the collaboration and participation from NHEdGIS, NHGA, NHDOE and many other organizations that have allowed us to present at various state workshops. Organizations from around the world honored at the Esri UC span industries including agriculture, cartography, climate change, defense and intelligence, economic development, education, government, health and human services, telecommunications, and utilities.

“The SAG Awards identify the organizations and people that are using the power of geography to improve our world and drive change,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “At Esri, we are always deeply inspired by the passion and innovation of our users. They deserve recognition for both solving their communities’ greatest challenges and for their invaluable contributions to the continued evolution of geographic science.”

For more information about the 2014 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, including project information and photos, please visit esri.com/sag.


About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 300,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms. Visit us at esri.com/news.

Press Information

Contact: Lara Bryant
Tel.: 603-358-2428
E-mail: lbryant1@keene.edu

New Hampshire Geographic Alliance at www.nhga.net
NH Educational Geographic Information Systems at www.nhedgis.org
NH Department of Education Esri Partnership at www.nheon.org/nh_projects/esri.html

SpecialAwardProject Goal
New Hampshire Geographic Alliance(NHGA) envisions a state in which the citizens have achieved a high level of geographic literacy as a result of cooperative, collaborative, and coordinated educational and policy efforts. New Hampshire Educational GIS Partnership(NHEdGIS) is a cooperative group of educators and organizations that originated in NHGA’s strategic planning process. Through the efforts of NHGA, NHEdGIS and the New Hampshire Department of Education(NHDOE), an agreement was reached with Esri to establish a statewide K-12 educational license for ArcGIS products to enhance geographic education through the integration of geospatial technologies.   NHEdGIS manages the license system, offers quality professional development for implementing GIS in the classroom, and is building a strong GIS education community. Other key partners in NHEdGIS are NH Fish & Game(NHF&G), UNH Cooperative Extension Geospatial Technology Training Center(UNHGTTC), and the US Forest Service(USFS).

Business Problem Solved
New Hampshire is a small state with limited capacity for meeting GIS professional development needs, both in terms of population, and in the financial support of education. With the invaluable logistical support of the NHDOE, NHEdGIS has gathered experts in classroom instruction, GIS technology, and content from NH public schools, Keene State College, UNHGTTC, St. Anselm College, NHF&G and the USFS. Together we are able to provide high quality meaningful professional development that supports the statewide-12 license, allowing the many teachers who enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to bring GIS technology to their classrooms. This also creates a network of GIS users in the state that support each other. The statewide GIS license for K-12 education would not have been possible without the collaboration and participation from NHEdGIS , NHGA, NHDOE and many other organizations that have allowed us to present at various state workshops .

Technology Implemented
NH educators are using a wide variety of geospatial technologies including ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS mobile apps, and ArcGIS Desktop, as well as other web mapping and support software. We provide a variety of options for educators; they can select the tools that best fit their goals, students and curriculum. ArcGIS Online for Organizations facilitates easy collaboration among teachers and students and allows students to work from home. Web Map Apps provide a variety of tools for storytelling and communication. Mobile apps allow for collecting data in the field that can then be used for analysis either in ArcGIS Online or Desktop. Desktop software allows for more advanced applications and the preparation of formal map layouts as well as the preparation of data for online and mobile applications. Facilities at Hopkinton Middle High School, UNHGTTC’s laptop lab, and NHGA’s loaner set of GPS units have been critical hardware components used in many workshops.

Development Team Biographies
Statewide Partnership Liaison:
Stan Freeda, Office of Educational Technology, NH Department of Education

Account Managers:
Ina Ahern, Science Teacher, Plymouth Regional High School, Plymouth, NH
Lara Bryant, NHGA Coordinator and Assistant Professor of Geography, Keene State College
Judy Tumosa, Aquatic Resource Educator, NH Fish and Game Department, Concord, NH
Robert Woolner, Geography! Teacher, Hopkinton Middle High School, Contoocook, NH

GIS Specialists:
Shane Bradt, Geospatial Technology Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension, Durham, NH
Marcel Duhaime, Math Teacher, Bow High School, Bow, NH
Rebecca Lilja, United States Forest Service, Durham, NH
Scott Semmens, Science Teacher, Hopkinton Middle High School, Contoocook, NH

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Nominate NH Innovative District Leaders 2015 Education Week “Leaders to Learn From”

Leaders To Learn From 2014

Do You Know an Innovative District

Education Week wants readers’ input for its third annual special report profiling district leaders who have brought fresh, successful ideas to their school communities in any area from academics to daily operations.

If you know of a superintendent or other district-level administrator whose approaches or innovations would inspire colleagues nationwide, we want to hear from you.

Click Here to Nominate

Winners are selected by the Education Week editors and will be profiled in the 2015 Leaders To Learn From special report in the February 25, 2015, issue. They will also be recognized at a live event in Washington, DC, on March 18, 2015.

Don’t delay. Nominate today!

The deadline for nominations has been extended to August 1, 2014.

Meet the 2014 Education Week Leaders.

Editorial Projects in Education, Inc., 6935 Arlington Road, Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814. EPE is
the publisher of Education Week, Digital Directions, Teacher Professional Development Sourcebook, edweek.org, teachermagazine.org,
DigitalDirections.org and TopSchoolJobs.org. Copyright © 2014 Editorial Projects in Education.


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District Network Upgrade Coaching

Helping to enable high-speed Internet in every classroom

What is the program?

EducationSuperHighway is partnering with school districts that want to upgrade their Internet infrastructure to support digital learning, but are unsure how to do it. We will work with you to identify solutions to meet your goals and provide technical and procurement guidance to help you improve your network. We aim to build capacity for districts, so we collaborate closely with district staff to ensure that you are set up for today and the future.

Is it free?

Yes! The service offered by our team of experts is free of charge.

Which districts?

If you are a district that is dedicated to implementing digital learning but can’t because of a slow or unreliable Internet connection or because bandwidth is too expensive, we want to work with you. Your district is a good candidate if you’ve said:

  • “Our network is slow and unreliable and we don’t know why.”
  • “We know we need more bandwidth, but it costs too much.”
  • “We know we need more bandwidth, but don’t know how to get it.”
  • “We want to integrate technology, but we don’t know if our network can handle it.”
  • “We just completed an upgrade and the network is still having issues.”
  • “We don’t even know where to start to figure out our network issues.”

How does it work?

EducationSuperHighway will assign a coach to work directly with a dedicated member of the district’s staff. Together, the coach and the district staff member will design a discrete project that covers these areas:

  • Conduct a needs assessment
  • Identify key barriers to attaining the connectivity your district needs
  • Craft viable solutions that meet your district’s needs
  • Develop a plan for upgrading the network and/or lowering costs
  • Work together to solve your connectivity issue

Get started

If you are interested in working with us, please complete a brief application. For questions, email us at districts@educationsuperhighway.org.

Apply at http://www.educationsuperhighway.org/apply-for-district-coaching.html

EducationSuperHighway is a non-profit organization working to enable high-speed Internet in every classroom in America so that the promise of digital education can be fulfilled. Find out more at www.EducationSuperhighway.org.

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Who Are the 5 Faces of Online Education?

Most students and parents surveyed are open to online coursework, and favor a blended learning approach.

Online courses are no long considered a niche element of higher education. They’ve grown in popularity and prominence, becoming a crucial element for many students’ education experiences. A recent survey by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) identified five distinct groups that dominate the online student population.

BCG’s U.S. Education Sentiment Survey identified five recurring groups after surveying more than 2,500 students and 657 parents. In addition to analyzing the distribution of course loads, the research also studied their attitudes and what’s looked for in the online option. Parents surveyed had at least one child enrolled in high school or college, and their attitudes toward online learning were also gauged.

Based on the survey data, the report projects that approximately 30 percent of higher education students are taking at least one online course and 16 percent are taking online-only courses. But the survey found that most students favored a blended learning approach that combines online-only courses with traditional instruction.

Most surveyed held generally positive attitudes toward online education, primarily for its ability to help students establish a work-life balance. However, many parents are still skeptical of degrees earned entirely through online coursework: The research found that parents were 13 percent more likely to withhold financial support if their child was pursuing an online-only degree.

The research broke down respondents into five categories based on their interests in online education and their goals.

True Believers
Comprised 15 percent of students and 19 percent parents
Students who take more than three-fourths of their classes online or in blended courses. Members of this group tend to be the most satisfied with online courses, which they value because they can complete them at their own pace.

Online Rejectors
Comprised 15 percent of students and 18 percent parents
Students who take fewer than one-fourth of their classes online, but take the highest number of traditional courses among those surveyed. These students are the least satisfied with online and blended courses and are skeptical of quality and potential impact on career outcomes.

Experience Seekers
Comprised 23 percent of students and 12 percent parents
These career-focused students tend not to have a preference about the kind of courses they take, as long as the coursework leads to their degree. Of those surveyed, 88 percent had taken an online course, which they value for enabling personalized learning.

Money Mavens
Comprised 17 percent of students and 11 percent parents
The least-satisfied group among those surveyed, these students are primarily motivated by the financial rewards of a higher education and do not engage with the “experiential, social or emotional aspects of college,” according to the survey. Nearly one-third of their current coursework is through blended learning.

Open Minds
Comprised 30 percent of students and 40 percent parents
The largest segment of those surveyed fell into this category, which was the most supportive of blended learning. This group values the classroom experience, nearly equally splitting their coursework between online and traditional class. Its members share similar attitudes regarding online learning with the True Believers.

The full report and summary can be read at bcgperspectives.com.

Read the entire report by D. Frank Smith on EdTech at http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2014/07/who-are-5-faces-online-education

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