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Getting Smart

Alliance for Education Emphasizes the Need for Next-Generation Network Internet Speeds In Schools

in Education/Universal Service by

WASHINGTON, October 27, 2014 – An Alliance for Excellent Education webinar on Tuesday highlighted the integral role that high-speed internet access in schools plays in the success for both the institutions and their students. As highlighted in the Pew Research Center’s recent report, next generation high-speed networks will help to bring about the next generation of teaching and learning in schools across the country.

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington -based national policy and advocacy organization focused on promoting the development and implementation of federal and national policies for effective high school reforms. The group aims to help graduate students who can succeed in college, work and public life. The organization specifically “focuses on America’s six million most at-risk secondary school students…who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future,” as stated on their website.

Former West Virginia Governor and current Alliance president Bob Wise interviewed guest Tom Vander Ark, the Chief Executive Officer of Getting Smart.  Ark stressed the importance of high-speed connectivity in schools, homes and public buildings like libraries so personalized learning can take shape throughout the nation. He defined such personalized learning as blended, individualized, adaptive and competency-based learning for the next generation,

Ark emphasized how technology could be used as an amplifier for bridging the digital divide through the recent growth in affordable productivity devices and a future with cheap or free access to high-speed internet. Wise and Ark also talked about the importance of increased E-rate funding. While Ark noted that the government program has done a good job at discounting access, he worried that the amount of funding has not kept pace with the cost of connectivity.

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