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Can State Partnerships Yield More K-12 Connectivity?

President Barack Obama issued his ConnectED initiative in order to bring high-speed connectivity to 99 percent of students by the year 2018. In order for the reality of connected schools to come to fruition, D. Frank Smith of EdTechMagazine believes that state partnerships are essential.

“Evan Marwell, founder and CEO of the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, knows that reaching that goal isn’t going to be easy,” according to Smith’s report.

“But he has witnessed breakthroughs in connectivity at the state level and believes other states should pay attention if they want to get ahead of ConnectED’s deadline.”

Marwell told Smith that the problem ultimately comes down to strong leadership at the state level. Marwell points out that the states with the strongest levels of connectivity or any at all are the ones with the top tier leadership the state level.

“Some of those state partnerships are now paying off. In April 2015, Arkansas announced a statewide network that will give K–12 schools access to Internet speeds that double the FCC's minimum threshold of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students by the end of the year,” according to Smith.

“These improvements will cost the state’s school districts nothing, thanks to the expansion of the federal E-Rate program in 2014, which included an additional $1.5 billion in funding.”

 

Read the full story.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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