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Building smart networks to improve learning

Is your school network ready to support next-generation learning?

building-networkIn the newly-released 2014 CoSN IT Leadership Survey, district technology leaders indicate that being ready for online assessments is their number one priority. And fewer than 18 percent report their district is fully ready for the online and other digital assessments starting this fall in many states. Clearly, school systems must take steps to prepare their districts for the onset of this new era of online testing. To help school district leaders, CoSN recently released our Raising the BAR: Becoming Assessment Ready initiative.

We’re also calling on Congress to provide funding in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget to help districts fill assessment technology gaps and related professional development.

Yet, I would argue that district leaders focusing on “readiness” should not be solely limited to more sophisticated assessments. School systems need a modern, robust education network – one that is designed for learning, not simply testing. We must have education networks with broadband connectivity, Wi-Fi across the campus, and a strategy for outside-of-school access to enable learning.

(Next page: Steps to building reliable networks)

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