Top 10 ed-tech stories of 2013, No. 1: Broadband is king

eSchool News counts down the ten most significant developments in educational technology during the past year. Our top story highlights various efforts to supply students with reliable broadband.

broadband-top10In school systems from coast to coast, tech-savvy educators experimented with augmented reality, educational gaming, and other techniques designed to enhance teaching and learning.

These are only some of the key ed-tech developments affecting K-12 schools in the past year—and we’ve got a full recap for you.

Here, the editors of eSchool News highlight what we think are the 10 most significant ed-tech stories of 2013.…Read More

Report calls for more broadband access in schools

SETDA recommends that schools provide 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff by the 2014-15 school year, and provide 1 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff by the 2017-18 school year.

School districts should provide a minimum of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) of bandwidth for every 1,000 students and staff members within the next two years, and federal lawmakers should provide more funding to help make this happen, according to a report released May 21 by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA).

The report, “The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs,” explains how the ongoing shift to technology-rich learning has sparked rapid growth in the nation’s educational broadband needs.

Schools are undergoing a transformation from print-based to digital sources, and that shift “changes technology from being supplemental enrichment to something we rely on,” said Douglas Levin, executive director of SETDA at a report release and briefing in Washington, D.C.…Read More

Net-neutrality agreement sparks concerns

Before the FCC moves ahead with any net-neutrality proposal, it must establish its authority to regulate broadband.
Before the FCC moves ahead with any net-neutrality proposal, it must establish its authority to regulate broadband.

Verizon Communications and Google Inc. have crafted a joint policy proposal they hope can serve as a framework for Congress and the Federal Communications Commission in drafting so-called “net neutrality” rules to ensure that phone and cable providers cannot favor their own services or discriminate against certain kinds of internet traffic that compete with their core businesses. But several public-interest groups have decried the proposal, saying it would lead to a two-tiered system of internet use that favors large organizations over smaller competitors.

Phone and cable TV companies that provide internet access should be barred from slowing down, blocking, or charging to prioritize internet traffic flowing over their regular broadband lines, Verizon and Google said in a policy statement released Aug. 9. But the companies left room for broadband providers to charge extra to route traffic from premium services over dedicated networks that are separate from the public internet.

Although broadband providers such as Verizon and internet-content companies such as Google are at opposite ends in the increasingly bitter debate over such rules, the two companies have been in talks for months to try to identify common ground.…Read More