Broadband | News

Washington District Gets Home Broadband for Student Chromebooks

Washington state’s Highline Public schools has become the first district to deploy a new service that  provides students with mobile broadband access for school work using their Chromebook devices.

Syntonic On-Ramp Education Services is known as a sponsored data provider, and integrates 4G broadband--theirs from AT&T--with mobile and other devices for the purposes of increasing students’ access to online educational resources and websites. Those sites falling outside of school or district whitelists are filtered. Schools can also manage access based on variables like time of day and geography and set usage limits by student or classroom.   

The contract with Highline will start small--out of 19,000 total students, around 1,000 will receive access through their Chromebooks, which come with embedded 4G radios. More than half of the students in the pilot do not have dedicated Internet connections at home.

"Technology is transforming education at Highline Public Schools. Off-campus connectivity for Highline students is essential for them to achieve the district's scholastic achievement goals as outlined by our community and in our strategic plan," said Mark Finstrom, the district's CTO, in a statement. "The Syntonic connected education service solves that problem and gives Highline Public Schools an efficient, flexible and reliable technology platform to deliver and manage online education resources."

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.

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