Education technology

Facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources

Challenges Providing Services to K-12 English Learners and Students with Disabilities during COVID-19

GAO reviewed distance learning plans from a nongeneralizable group of 15 school districts, selected for their high proportion of either English learners or students with disabilities.

The Online Learning Equity Gap

This report profiles the many innovative options that school districts have pioneered to build or extend wireless broadband connectivity out to student households that cannot afford to purchase high-speed internet access at home.

C Spire Expands MissiON Research and Education Network

C Spire is adding 15 community colleges to the Mississippi Optical Network (MissiON). The MissiON network is the research and education network supporting universities in the state. The 15 community colleges – which are not identified in the press release – will gain additional capacity and fully redundant connectivity to commodity Internet services and state university research programs, according to C Spire. C Spire has been quite involved with MissiON, having previously added universities to the network and “enhanced connections” to the network for others.

In Rural ‘Dead Zones,’ School Comes on a Flash Drive

The technology gap has prompted teachers to upload lessons on flash drives and send them home to dozens of students every other week. Some children spend school nights crashing at more-connected relatives’ homes so they can get online for classes the next day. Millions of American students are grappling with these challenges, learning remotely without adequate home internet service. Even as school districts have scrambled to provide students with laptops, many who live in low-income and rural communities continue to have difficulty logging on.

To Help Close Digital Divide for Nearly 17 Million Students, AT&T Offers Discounted Wireless Data Plans with Free Wi-Fi Hotspots and Makes $10 Million Commitment to Help Underserved Communities

AT&T is offering discounted unlimited wireless data plans and content filtering services to more than 135,000 public and private K-12 schools, colleges and universities across the country for a limited time. Offer details include:

Bridging the digital divide for students with disabilities

The unexpected shift to the remote workplace and classroom brought on by COVID-19 has left many families across the country with inequitable access to devices and technology infrastructure, a problem known as the digital divide. For students with disabilities, the digital divide is not only an issue of access to broadband and technological devices, but also about ensuring that the technology is 

Supporting Equitable Access to Education by Closing the Homework Gap

The next administration should maximize the use of all available policy tools to close the homework gap and keep it closed. First, the Federal Communications Commission should update the existing E-rate program to allow schools to ensure home access to broadband for every student and teacher (Pre-K to Grade 12). Second, the FCC, in coordination with the Department of Education, should launch a one-to-one device program for students and teachers (Pre-K to Grade 12).

Using Online Tutoring to Address COVID-19 Learning Loss and Create Jobs

The next administration should create a plan for a public, online platform to connect teachers with college students and recent graduates to serve as tutors for K-12 students. One-on-one tutoring is a proven intervention that improves children’s educational competencies and increases students’ self-confidence. Along with supporting students, this platform could provide needed employment for young adults and enable teachers and students together to produce improved educational outcomes.

Connect All Students: How States and School Districts Can Close the Digital Divide

How did stakeholders respond to school closings and the digital divide --  and what lessons can be learned from those efforts to close the digital divide going forward? This report highlights case studies at the state, city, and school district level and concludes that there are three key steps in the still unfinished endeavor of closing the K–12 digital divide during the pandemic.

COVID-19 gives the FCC a platform to leverage educational programming

Months before COVID-19, the Federal Communications Commission voted to loosen broadcasters’ obligations to carry core “educational and informative” content across their networks. The National Association of Broadcasters thanked the FCC profusely, touting that obligations to carry “low-rated children’s programming” would have serious economic consequences when stations were already dealing with shrinking profits.