State leaders continue to advocate for increased high speed broadband in K12 education
September 8, 2016 (Washington D.C.) Today, the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association representing the U.S. state and territorial educational technology leaders announced the release of The Broadband Imperative II: Equitable Access for Learning. This report advocates for robust broadband access both in and out of school to best prepare all students for college and careers, provides new targets for infrastructure and capacity, and shares state and district exemplars where increased bandwidth availability has positively impacted teaching and learning. This current report builds upon SETDA’s earlier work, including its groundbreaking report, The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs and the April 2016, State K-12 Broadband Leadership: Driving Connectivity and Access. In this latest publication, SETDA offers important new insights and trends, along with the following recommendations for policy makers and school leaders:
- Increase Infrastructure to Support Student-Centered Learning
- Design Infrastructure to Meet Capacity Targets
- Ensure Equity of Access for All Students Outside of School
- Leverage State Resources to Increase Broadband Access
“In the 21st century, investing in technology infrastructure is just as important as investing in roads and bridges,” stated Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Schools. “Regardless of their zip code, every student deserves access to a high-quality education, including equitable access to technology and blended learning opportunities. Indiana is focused on closing the digital divide for all of Hoosier students by ensuring that every school, community and home has access to broadband technologies.”
Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director of SETDA noted, “Today’s students need robust bandwidth access to help ensure that their learning experiences are effectively preparing them for college and future careers. Broadband access supports trends that shift away from traditional learning models towards digital learning opportunities that include dynamic digital instructional materials, online simulations, coding and content creation.”
“For too long, schools across our state have had to do without reliable and affordable high-speed broadband,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. “I believe all Arizona children should have equal access to the important resources that broadband makes available, and this effort can bring us one step closer to seeing that vision become a reality.”
“Having equitable access to robust broadband in every school in the state means educators can truly leverage digital content and applications for collaboration with peers and experts as well as personalize learning for every student,” remarked Dr. Sydnee Dickson, Utah State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The Broadband Imperative II is based on research in partnership with state and private sector leaders including state CIOs, state network managers, E-rate Coordinators, digital learning administrators, and through the support of AT&T, ENA, Kajeet, and Mobile Beacon. The full report is available here: http://www.setda.org/priorities/equity-of-access/broadbandimperativeii_2016/
Founded in 2001, SETDA is the national non-profit association representing the interests of U.S. state and territorial educational technology leadership. SETDA’s mission is to build and increase the capacity of state and national leaders to improve education through technology policy and practice. For more information, please visit http://www.setda.org.