E-rate spending reveals schools’ tech evolution

Schooling has changed in many ways in the last two years, but while remote learning, mask policies and increased federal spending in education have gotten lots of attention, another trend has gone nearly unnoticed.

But thanks to the availability of detailed E-rate data, this sea change is now being recognized. E-rate is the federal government program that provides discounts of up to 90 percent for schools and libraries to bring high-speed internet into their building(s) and create internal networks for online access. For years, E-rate applicants have leveraged E-rate to bring fast internet service into their organizations, cobbling together funds and seeking out providers. But today, a new trend is emerging—more funds are being requested to improve internal networks, allowing the flood of devices now used in schools and libraries to effectively get online.

E-rate funding requested in Category One, which includes data transmission services and internet access, has declined for five straight years, largely a function of increasing marketplace competition and decreasing per-megabit prices.  But funding requests for Category Two services have soared in the same time period. Category Two funds can be spent on wireless access points, network switches, data cabling and other resources essential for on-campus connections.…Read More

High-speed internet is a basic necessity–not a luxury–when it comes to learning

Americans overwhelmingly believe that high-speed internet access is a basic necessity, according to a new survey from Kajeet. Additionally, this need for connectivity is not new, as nearly 75 percent of respondents believed high-speed internet was important even before the pandemic began more than two years ago. The survey also finds that 64 percent of U.S. adults are worried about their ability to pay for a high-speed internet connection at home, drawing attention to the opportunity gap and homework gap many students face.

The digital divide–the gap between people who have access to modern information and communications technology and those who do not – is a major issue. Access to the internet has become a necessity in almost all aspects of life today, including education, healthcare, remote work, etc. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), however, an estimated 14.5 million Americans lack home broadband access. For these 14.5 million people, not having access to the internet is a disadvantage.

High-Speed Internet is a Necessity, Not a Luxury…Read More

4 ways to support ELLs in post-pandemic learning

There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted learning in ways educators and policymakers are still working to understand. But while all students felt the impact, certain historically underserved student groups–including English language learners (ELLs)–were disproportionately affected.

During virtual learning, ELLs didn’t have access to many of the in-school resources they typically use and need to learn best. Many student groups suffered from limited or no access to reliable high-speed internet, appropriate technology devices to use for virtual and hybrid learning, and unpredictable family situations that arose as a result of the pandemic.

While educators focus on addressing pandemic-related learning loss and closing existing learning gaps that grew wider during the pandemic, focusing on ELLs is critical.…Read More

Why teach digital writing to students in 2022?

The internet has changed writing forever.

Have you ever thought of your students alongside Hemingway, Shakespeare, and other well-known writers? They are actually: All their messages, blogs, and social media posts go online today, together with novels, poems, or stories of professional writers.

Now they write more than speak. Online communication calls the shots, and Gen Z doesn’t perceive informative writing as we did 20 or 30 years ago.…Read More

3 collaborative strategies to bolster cybersecurity

In the fall of 2021, the Center for Internet Security’s Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) reported an expected 86 percent increase in cybersecurity incidents targeting K-12 school systems over the course of one year. Public and private schools provide a broad surface area for exploitation and are often the target of malicious hackers looking for financial gain or to steal the sensitive personal data of teachers and students.

Countering these ransomware attacks with proper cyber hygiene practices can be especially difficult if there is little or no room in the IT budget, or if curriculum leaders lack involvement in the effort to enhance cybersecurity.

As a result, there are a few helpful benchmarks that can assist IT administrators in their ever-evolving quest to bolster cybersecurity measures and limit schools’ exposure to pervasive attacks. …Read More

Jamf Introduces Jamf Safe Internet to Power Online Safety Anywhere Students Learn

MINNEAPOLIS, July 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Jamf (NASDAQ: JAMF), the standard in Apple Enterprise Management, rolled out  Jamf Safe Internet to K-12 education customers across the globe. Designed to help schools protect minors from harmful content on the internet, Jamf Safe Internet allows customer admins to enforce acceptable-use policies without sacrificing the unmatched learning experience Apple devices provide.

Apple has already established a  strong presence in the education market as students spend more time learning online. This creates a growing need for digital safety to prevent students from accessing unsafe content and eliminate cyberattacks. Incorporating filtering technology and network threat prevention features currently available to commercial customers through Jamf’s security solutions, Jamf Safe Internet is the only Apple-first, education-focused cybersecurity solution that ensures students can navigate the internet safely. Jamf Safe Internet values student privacy by applying prevention over inspection principles.

“With technology now firmly embedded in the student experience, there is a growing need for digital safety to eliminate cyberattacks and prevent students from accessing unsafe content. Jamf combines best-in-class network threat prevention and a vast content-filtering database to block unsafe and malicious content so that students can safely learn online from anywhere,” said Suraj Mohandas, Senior Director of Education Strategy, Jamf.…Read More

Why “offline” digital learning is critical to impact children worldwide

As thousands of educators, entrepreneurs, and investors gathered at the recent ASU+GSV Summit, a growing number recognized both the need and opportunity for educational innovation in developing countries, particularly for the over 250 million children who lack access to schools.

But many of the solutions proffered still focus on internet-based solutions. Glaringly missing from the landscape are adaptive, digital learning solutions that are offline.

While we work to increase universal access to the internet, the edtech ecosystem cannot ignore the hundreds of millions of children currently without connectivity but who are eager to learn.…Read More

Galaxy Next Generation Offers G2 Visual Alerts to Every School in the U.S.

TOCCOA, GA / ACCESSWIRE / June 4, 2022 / Galaxy Next Generation, Inc. (OTCQB:GAXY) (“Galaxy” or the “Company”), a provider of interactive learning technology solutions, has offered a complimentary one-year (school year) subscription for its G2 Visual Alerts security solution to every school and school district in the U.S.

G2 Visual Alerts, part of the larger G2 Secure platform, is a cloud-based solution that can send visual alerts or announcements to any internet-enabled device within the school or district, disseminating a lockdown message throughout the building within seconds of an indicated threat.

“With the rise in school violence continuing across the nation, we felt compelled to make an impact on the education community by providing any schools with a proven security solution at no cost,” said Magen McGahee, Chief Financial Officer of Galaxy. “The majority of our employees are either parents or grandparents of school age children, so it is a personal mission for all of us at Galaxy to make our schools safer for this generation of kids and beyond. Since most of our costs for the development of G2 Visual Alerts has already been accounted for in previous years, we are able to offer a solution to our community in a time of need without a large impact to us financially.”…Read More

It’s time to invest in tech equity in education

Today’s education doesn’t need to be limited to the walls of a classroom. It shouldn’t rely on home internet access, a community hotspot or a ride to the library. It shouldn’t be exclusive to kids who attend schools stocked with new textbooks and state-of-the-art laboratories.

Rather, U.S. students are entering a time where equity in education has the potential to be closer than ever before. Technology brings the opportunity for students to access the same plethora of information, regardless of location or status.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend toward one-to-one devices for students nationwide. Districts that had yet to assign devices to each student rushed to make that happen when remote learning began. Emergency funding helped fill in the gaps for districts that needed a jump-start to make big technology purchases.…Read More