The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA), the principal membership association representing the US state and territorial educational technology leaders, announced the release of the Broadband Imperative III: Driving Connectivity, Access and Student Success. This report advocates for equitable, reliable, robust broadband access both on and off campus to prepare all students for life and work. This report builds upon SETDA’s earlier work, including the groundbreaking Broadband Imperative series of reports and State Broadband K12 Leadership reports.
This report highlights the importance of state leadership and the various ways states strive to support districts and schools to achieve equitable digital learning opportunities for all students both on campus and outside of school. States demonstrate leadership through legislation, initiatives, partnerships, statewide broadband networks, regional networks, and/or statewide purchasing consortia to facilitate reliable, cost-effective internet access for districts. No one state has the same policies or practices, yet all are providing leadership
The bar has moved. Access to high-speed broadband in K-12 education is no longer an afterthought; instead it is fundamental for implementing the student-centered learning models critical in preparing all students for college and careers in the digital age.
Schools and districts are moving towards student-centered, personalized learning approaches to increase student success — utilizing digital applications to support these deeper learning experiences. High-speed broadband access enables schools to expand learning options, allowing students to create content, participate in virtual courses that may not be available on their campuses, and to collaborate with experts or other students remotely. Bandwidth capacity is required to support these digital age learning opportunities, and determines which digital instructional materials and educational applications students and educators can effectively leverage in the classroom. In this report, SETDA advocates for increasing robust access both in and out of school to best prepare all students for college and careers.
SETDA provides the following updated recommendations for policymakers and school leaders:
1. Increase Infrastructure to Support Student-Centered Learning
2. Design Infrastructure to Meet Capacity Targets
3. Ensure Equity of Access for All Students Outside of School
4. Leverage State Resources to Increase Broadband Access