Education technology

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

A South Carolina school district just abolished snow days — and will make students learn online

A school district in South Carolina has done away with the much-loved snow days — requiring students to do classwork online. Officials with Anderson County School District 5 announced that the district has been chosen to “pilot the first eLearning program in the state of South Carolina,” meaning that when roads are too treacherous for travel, teachers will send assignments to the students’ school-supplied Chromebooks. The district calendar states that “inclement weather days will be eLearning days and will not be made up.”

FCC Proposes Updates to Children's Programming Rules

The Federal Communications Commission launched a proceeding to seek comment on proposed revisions to the children’s television programming rules. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recommends modifying rules adopted in 1996 pursuant to the Children’s Television Act. The NPRM seeks input on proposed changes to the criteria that children’s programming must meet to be considered Core Programming, which among other things currently require that programming be at least 30 minutes in length and regularly scheduled.

The Perilous Future of Internet Access for Students of Color

As teachers increasingly integrate internet-based programs into both lesson plans and homework, the internet has become an essential tool for students. With such vast amounts of information available online—articles, videos, other imaginative mediums—children are able to do homework and develop interests not only with the help of, but also because of an internet connection. But while that tool can—and does—bring so much opportunity to students whose families can afford it, millions of American families are unable to buy internet at home.

Sen Markey to FCC: Children's Television Proposals Lack Facts

Sen Ed Markey (D-MA) hosted a press conference July 11 to call for the Federal Communications Commission to convert its children's television notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) into a notice of inquiry (NOI) so it can collect more data on the impact of its proposals. He was joined by Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and other children's TV advocates.

Supporting Students & Families in Out-of-School Learning

This toolkit provides background context for the Homework Gap, addresses broader implications of household connectivity, suggests resources for scoping the problem, and details five strategies districts are currently using to address these challenges: 1) Partner with Community Organizations to Create “Homework Hotspots”, 2) Promote Low-Cost Broadband Offerings, 3) Deploy Mobile Hotspot Programs, 4) Install Wifi on School Buses and 5) Build Private LTE Networks. In addition, it outlines four steps school leaders can take to collaborate with local governments and their community to take a bro

Chairman Pai marks achievement of Internet in every NC classroom

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai joined NC Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and other state leaders to celebrate a goal more than 10 years in the making: connecting every classroom in the state with broadband Internet access. The School Connectivity Initiative launched in 2006 with a number of targets, including broadband in every class. Forest said it will happen in 2018, making North Carolina the first in the nation to achieve that goal. Chairman Pai spoke about the partnership the FCC had with North Carolina in making this goal happen.

Chairman Pai's Response to Senator Tester Regarding the E-Rate Program

On March 13, 2018, Sen Jon Tester (D-MT) and Gov Steve Bullock (D-MT) wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to express concerns with FCC regulations that are causing significant delays on certain school broadband projects in rural states. "It is unacceptable for bureaucratic red tape to stand in the way of high-speed internet being delivered to rural classrooms. As such, we urge you to take immediate corrective actions," they wrote. On May 10, Chairman Pai responded by writing, "[T]here have been serious flaws in the administration of the E-Rate program.


House Committee on Education and the Workforce

Thu, 05/17/2018 - 15:00

SHLB Commends FCC’s Letter to USAC Regarding E-rate Drop-Down Menu Concerns

The Federal Communications Commission sent a letter that instructed the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) not to deny E-rate applications over confusion caused by the drop-down menu issue. The letter also directs USAC to clarify the language for Funding Year 2019. John Windhausen, Jr., Executive Director of SHLB, said:

FCC Delays are Keeping Broadband from Rural School Kids

Under the Trump administration, rural schools requesting funding for broadband expansion have faced record delays and denials, according to the non-profit EducationSuperHighway, which works to get schools connected to the internet. By their count, more than 60 eligible fiber projects have been unfairly denied since 2017, a rate that EducationSuperHighway CEO Evan Marwell says has spiked dramatically from years prior. Meanwhile, more than 30 schools have been waiting about a year for approval. On average, they currently wait an average of 240 days for an answer.