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Obama praises educators’ efforts to end digital divide

By Jacqueline Lee, McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)
November 24th, 2014

Educators work to eliminate challenges to digital access and opportunity

digital-dividePresident Barack Obama recognized school superintendents from across the country on Nov. 20 whose efforts to expand classroom technology means it no longer takes 20 minutes for a student in rural Alaska to log onto the internet and that one in a poor district in California can get Wi-Fi near home.

About 110 school leaders attended the National Connected Superintendents Summit on digital learning. The event was part of the administration’s five-year plan, ConnectED, to have 99 percent of the nation’s students connected to high-speed broadband internet in their schools and libraries.

Less than 40 percent of public schools have high-speed internet.

“There is no greater gap right now than the digital gap, and if we close that gap then we have the potential to level the playing field for students like nothing we’ve seen before,” Alberto Carvalho, superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, said in remarks to introduce the president. “This is a game changer.”

(Next page: How educators approach the digital divide)