by Paige Miller, Marketing Coordinator
Of the many initiatives that have increased technology use in the classroom, the nation’s connectivity promise, E-rate, has been one of the most successful. According to a new report from EducationSuperHighway, since E-rate was put in place in 2013, it has effectively increased Wi-Fi accessibility in schools by 84%. In fact, 94% of school districts in the country now meet the minimum federal connectivity target. It has helped over 39.2 million students use technology in the classroom on a daily basis- that’s 74,000 schools!
The report: “2017 State of the States: Fulfilling Our Promise to America’s Students,” also detailed what still needs to be done to increase sufficient Wi-Fi at schools across the United States, and more specifically, Ohio. Across the nation there are still more than 10,000 schools that need Wi-Fi. In Ohio, 245,550 students in 41 school districts still need to be connected to the minimum connectivity goal of 100 kbps per student.
The Good News
There’s $95.1 million in Wi-Fi funds that are still available for 603 school districts in Ohio. With the possible changes to the program’s funding due to new leadership within the FCC, it is more urgent than ever to file Form 471 and provide your District with the opportunity to receive the effective Wi-Fi connectivity needed to see a real transformation in classrooms.
With more connectivity, students will know more than just how to use technology, but rather they will be able to manipulate technology to communicate interactively, build learning networks and function as digital citizens in and outside of the classroom. By increasing connectivity to schools that don’t meet the goal of 100 kbps per student, schools are giving students and teachers the ability to move around the school without losing connection and IT professionals and administrators will be better suited to handle the continuous influx of new technologies and devices.
Forward Edge Can Help
Forward Edge is the largest K-12 focused technology provider across Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. We ensure your District has the highest potential for student success by creating a digitally enabled learning environment. Our experienced technology professionals, will provide a complete spectrum of efficient technology solutions, including wireless bandwidth management, infrastructure technology design and integration and we are knowledgeable about what e-rate can mean for your District. Constantly evolving technology can be challenging but Forward Edge works with 8 out of the 12 largest school districts in the area so we understand the unique dynamics of K-12 technology. Let us help to position your District for increased collaboration, continuous access to data, and an accelerated educational environment.