How Education Is Closing the Digital Divide

A new SETDA report digs into how states across the country are implementing new programs to help school districts close the digital divide.

 How Education Is Closing the Digital Divide

Designing high-capacity and widely available networks is essential for meeting the digital learning goals, according to a new SETDA study. The report looks into how individual states are working to close the digital divide in education by creating dedicated networks for schools and funding grant programs.

“In order to provide personalized learning experiences for students to best prepare them for college and careers, and to compete in a global economy, all schools need access to reliable, high-speed broadband,” said SETDA’s incoming executive director, Candice Dodson. “No two states approach broadband implementation the same; however, state leadership is essential to the process in implementing high-speed broadband for all.”

Some examples in the report include:

When it comes to developing strategies for affordable internet access for off-campus students, the report found 12 states have community partnerships, 13 with connecting anchor institutions and five with existing state funding. Nine states have instituted WiFi on busses and seven states have mandated legislative funding for off-campus access.

In conjunction with the release of the report, SETDA has published the State K-12 Education Broadband Map, which shows how each state is using broadband through different models including the statewide networks, regional networks and alternative strategies. The map can be viewed here.

The full report from SETDA can be found here.

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

Friedman can be contacted at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.

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