Digital learning not only plays a crucial role in preparing today’s students for the jobs of tomorrow, it also has an important role in providing equity and access to education–especially in smaller and remote school districts. This makes access to adequate and reliable broadband even more important as the development of new technologies continues.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) is now preparing to accommodate next-generation technologies such as 5G, virtual reality, robotics, and esports.
During a recent edWebinar, Christine Fox, SETDA’s deputy executive director, provided an overview of the opportunities and challenges schools and districts now face. Marc Johnson, executive director of East Central Minnesota Educational Cable Cooperative (ECMECC), then provided perspective from a regional and local level on the expanding use of broadband.
Broadband’s big picture
Fox started with an overview of the diverse approaches to providing educational broadband access across the U.S., with 28 states currently using statewide K-12 broadband networks, 9 states using regional networks, and 16 states using alternative methods such as purchasing consortia. What all these types of organizations share is a commitment to developing a modern, agile workforce comprised of lifelong learners who can grow along with evolving technologies.