Obama pushes for high-speed internet for students

(Credit: Zoonar)
(Credit: Zoonar)

 

President Barack Obama thinks American students aren’t connected enough, and that access to faster Internet connections and technologies is crucial in today’s schools. That’s why he wants to make sure that 99% of students have high-speed broadband access within the next five years.

“We are living in a digital age, and to help our students get ahead, we must make sure they have access to cutting-edge technology,” Obama said in a statement published by the White House.

Obama will announce the new initiative, ConnectED, on Thursday during a speech at a high-tech middle school in Mooresville, N.C.

The initiative calls on the Federal Communications Commission to provide virtually all American students with high-speed broadband and wireless access in their schools and libraries by 2018. The initiative should also give students and teachers the tools needed to take advantage of high-speed Internet access.

“Basic Internet access is no longer sufficient, and the FCC has been taking a hard look at ways to further modernize the E-Rate program to bring robust broadband to schools and libraries, especially those in low income and rural communities,” said FCC acting chairwoman Mignon Clyburn in a statement sent to the press.

For the administration, this set of reforms is needed to level American schools with their international counterparts, like schools in South Korea that all have access to high-speed Internet.

According to a fact sheet (PDF) posted along with the press release, the connections must be at least 100 Mbps with a goal of eventually increasing speeds up to 1 Gbps.

To meet this goal, the FCC will be tasked with using E-Rate, its existing program to assist schools and libraries to improve connectivity. Obama also asked the federal government to provide the necessary funding for the initiative. The White House noted that this initiative doesn’t need Congress’ approval.

The initiative aims not only to provide high-speed Internet and improved equipment, but also to improve teachers’ technical skills. To reach this goal, the Department of Education, working alongside states and school districts, will invest in training teachers to better prepare them to take advantage of new technologies.

For the Obama administration, this initiative is an imperative of the digital age. For the Obama administration, this initiative is an imperative of the digital age.

“Our schools were designed for a different era –- based on a limited school day and a seasonal calendar,” reads the fact sheet. “This system does not take into account the constant learning opportunities of global connectivity, and does not prepare our students for a collaborative and networked economy.”

The potential that this kind of reform represents has been already discussed in the past. A 2010 study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (PDF) pointed out that “while broadband is not a panacea for education reform, it is positioned to serve as an essential vehicle for delivering content and tools that can be used to spur student engagement, enhance learning outcomes, facilitate collaboration and innovation among educators, and enable cost savings in the administration of education.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

MLB

Adam Warren closes out doubleheader sweep for Yankees

Adam Warren navigated a tricky ninth inning earn the Yankees a 2-0 victory over the Cubs.

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.