Time to get real with equity

For Todd Dugan, superintendent of Bunker Hill CUSD #8, a small, remote district in southern Illinois, issues surrounding back-to-school COVID-19 style are not abstract but all too real.

Some of the district’s biggest priorities include:

  • Rural struggles–and successes–as COVID hit
  • Address learning loss that comes with inequity
  • As school resumes, freedom of choice

In this conversation with eSchool News, Todd tries to keep the glass half full as he looks to take advantage of these incredible disruptions to education.…Read More

Public access to school computers raises questions

 

Opening school computer labs for community access raises some concerns.
Opening school computer labs for community access raises some concerns.

 

A move that will let schools use federal e-Rate funds to help their stakeholders get online by opening up their computer labs to the community after school hours has left some educators wondering how schools might let adults view age-appropriate web sites while still protecting children from inappropriate content.…Read More

Universities play role in broadband expansion

A New Mexico broadband initiative will give broadband access to 3,000 homes and 1,000 businesses.
A New Mexico broadband initiative will give broadband access to 3,000 homes and 1,000 businesses.

Colleges and universities will help bring broadband internet to underserved schools, businesses, and neighborhoods after Vice President Joe Biden announced the first round of federal stimulus funds to expand high-speed web access on Dec. 17.

Eighteen projects nationwide, funded by $182 million in stimulus dollars, will build long-awaited fiber-optic networks in rural areas not served by high-bandwidth web connections in larger nearby cities.

The University of Maine is among the campuses involved in the broadband expansion program. Maine will partner with Biddleford Internet Corp.—along with several other companies—to build three fiber optic rings across 1,100 miles of rural area with $25.4 million in funding.…Read More

FCC solicits e-Rate comments

broadbandresizedAs part of its efforts to develop a National Broadband Plan, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments about how the e-Rate program can be improved to meet the broadband needs of schools and libraries — and how it might play a role in delivering or stimulating the adoption of broadband service within communities.

In its Public Notice, the FCC asks educators what they believe are the barriers to increasing broadband deployment and usage in their schools. The agency also asks e-Rate applicants what factors they consider when determining their broadband needs.

In figuring how the e-Rate can be used to help deliver broadband service to more people, the FCC asks stakeholders whether they think the rule requiring that discounts apply only to services used for “educational purposes” should be changed, to allow for the use of school broadband facilities by the community at large. If that were to happen, “what practical or operational impact would such a change have?” the agency asks.…Read More