Why #Internet4Schools Matters

Personalized learning. One-to-one implementation. Bring your own device initiatives. All of these, when combined with high-quality instructional practice, can systemically change a classroom learning environment. However, these instructional practices and tools are essentially useless without an infrastructure that can properly support them.Although the topic of E-Rate has come to the forefront in recent months, in the not-too-distant future the program will turn 20 years old. Section 254 of theTelecommunications Act of 1996, expanded the traditional goal of universal service to include increased access to both telecommunications and advanced services, such as high-speed Internet, at “just, reasonable and affordable rates.”The act also had specific provisions for rural areas and low-income consumers. As a specific part of Section 254, telecommunications companies were ordered to provide schools and libraries services at reduced costs and at rates determined by the Federal Communications Commission. As part of these provisions, the FCC was charged with evaluating which services qualify for reimbursement. “E-Rate modernization” — recent changes to these regulations — occurred in July of this year, as the FCC recognized the incredible disconnect between the technology needs of 1996 and those of today, thus necessitating the need for an update.Yet, with the latest round of changes, our schools remain largely disconnected. Simply put, our students lack the 21st century resources needed to prepare them for their future.To read the rest of the blog post, click here.

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