11 facts about K-12 IT leadership

Broadband access and the ever-growing equity gap are among K-12 IT leaders’ top concerns, according to CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey.

The survey, released in collaboration with the Ed-Fi Alliance and other partners, is based on a national survey of nearly 400 school systems and provides a nuanced look at the challenges K-12 IT leadership has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were proud to once again work alongside the CoSN team in developing this report,” said Sean Casey, manager of strategic partnerships at the Ed-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to helping school districts and states achieve data interoperability. “At Ed-Fi, our goal is to define data standards to solve problems shared by all educators and to arm the learning community with useful information, as found in this report, for conscientious decision-making that leads to better outcomes for learners everywhere.”…Read More

11 facts about today’s K-12 IT leadership

Broadband access and the ever-growing equity gap are among K-12 IT leaders’ top concerns, according to CoSN’s annual IT Leadership Survey.

The survey, released in collaboration with the Ed-Fi Alliance and other partners, is based on a national survey of nearly 400 school systems and provides a nuanced look at the challenges K-12 IT leadership has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were proud to once again work alongside the CoSN team in developing this report,” said Sean Casey, manager of strategic partnerships at the Ed-Fi Alliance, a nonprofit devoted to helping school districts and states achieve data interoperability. “At Ed-Fi, our goal is to define data standards to solve problems shared by all educators and to arm the learning community with useful information, as found in this report, for conscientious decision-making that leads to better outcomes for learners everywhere.”…Read More

Infographic: Why mobile technology is hurting some students

[Editor’s Note: Read “Infographic: The edtech challenges faced by immigrant students” here.]

Although most children in families earning below the median U.S. household income have internet access and devices that connect to it, they struggle with being “under-connected.”

Ninety-four percent of families surveyed by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, have some kind of internet access and most have at least one device connecting to the internet, but the quality or consistency of their internet access is lower than they would like it to be.…Read More

3 Google Fiber programs that could help ease the digital divide

Google’s affordable broadband service is already impacting some communities and schools

The latest Digital Equity report from the Consortium of School Networking paints a picture of an educational environment where schools are at least on the right path to providing access to high-speed wi-fi within their walls (though there is still plenty of work to be done). An equally pressing problem is the fact that the number of pupils with fast connectivity dwindles as they move away from their K-12 hubs—and the divide deepens even further when issues like socioeconomic status, income, and race are taken into account.

According to The Pew Research Center, 82.5 percent of American households with school-age children currently have broadband access at home. This is approximately 9 percentage points higher than the broadband adoption rates across all households, CoSN reports, but there are still 5 million households with school-age children which lack broadband in the home.

“Students in these households experience what is being labeled the ‘homework gap,’” reported CoSN, pointing out that more than 75 percent of school district technology leaders have no strategy for addressing off-campus access.…Read More

Google Fiber could widen digital divide in Kansas City area

The city’s school district is worried that many of its buildings will be left without the fiber optic connections that will blossom in areas that are better off.

She has no internet access at home, so Robinett Foreman sweats over lost computer time at school.

The 17-year-old is one of 11 students out of 18 without home access in her business technology class at Kansas City Public Schools’ Central Academy of Excellence.…Read More

Stimulus funding brings broadband to rural homes, schools

The stimulus act set aside $7.2 billion for expansion of broadband access, believing it would spur economic growth, boost educational opportunities, and create jobs.

Up in rural northern Vermont, it took until the 1960s to run power lines to some towns—decades after the rest of America got turned on. These days, it’s the digital revolution that remains but a rumor in much of rural America.

Dial-up user Val Houde knows this as well as anybody. After moving to East Burke, Vt., four years ago, the 51-year-old mother of four took a correspondence course for medical transcription, hoping to work from home. She plunked down $800, took the course, then found out the software wasn’t compatible with dial-up internet, the only kind available to her.…Read More

Survey: Schools need faster broadband speeds

Fast and reliable broadband access is critical for schools.

More than half of school and library respondents in a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) e-Rate survey say they provide some form of wireless internet access for school employees and students, but almost 80 percent of those same respondents said their broadband connections are inadequate.

Fifty-five percent of those who said their broadband connections are inadequate said that slow connection speed was the deciding factor in that decision.…Read More

New report highlights barriers to online learning

Broadband access is crucial to success in online learning programs, a new report says.

Students must have reliable broadband access if they are to take advantage of 21st-century online education programs that can increase their access to educational opportunities, according to a new report from the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA).

The report, Enabled by Broadband, Education Enters a New Frontier, highlights success and growth in online education programs across the country. It also outlines the need for increased broadband access and suggests policy measures to ensure that barriers to continued growth in online learning are removed.…Read More

Troubling gaps still exist in broadband use

A survey last year found that 35 percent of Americans do not use broadband at home.

The U.S. still faces a significant gap in residential broadband use that breaks down along incomes, education levels, and other socio-economic factors, even as subscriptions among American households overall grew sevenfold between 2001 and 2009.

What’s more, even when controlling for key socio-economic characteristics, the U.S. continues to confront a racial gap in residential broadband use, with non-Hispanic white Americans and Asian-Americans more likely to go online using a high-speed connection than African-Americans and Hispanics.…Read More