Assessing new technology for our nation’s schools, the quality of technology varies from district to district, school to school. President Obama revealed a new initiative, that in turn should help level technological expenses across the nation. Obama plans to have 99% of our US schools, grades from 3 – 12, access to high speed internet within 5 years. The internet, has been growing by leaps and bounds with various online apps, to heavy content filled websites. Schools are currently dealing with tremendously slow internet speeds, which hinder the education of students.
With the innovated ideas from companies like Google. Bringing Google fiber, 1 gigabit (Gb) speeds, to cities at a reasonable price seemed ideal. This massive increase of internet speed at a low price, is placing pressure on other competitive internet providers. Companies such as AT&T and Time Warner have both began upgrading their networks in different cities to compete against Google Fiber. Having high speed internet is not just used for large companies, but for other organizations such as industrial and educational facilities.
On June 18, 2013 the Los Angeles Board of Education approved a purchase of $30 million worth of IPads for their students. The initial step of $500 million to get California schools into the Tech age, in hopes to deliver better education for their attendees. Los Angeles has the second largest school district in the US. The main reason for these substantial spending efforts in LA, is to prepare students for the new technology-based curriculum known as “Common Core State Standards”, which is set to launch in the school year of 2014.
“We want to make sure that our classrooms are the classrooms of the future,” Deputy Superintendent of Instruction Jamie Aquino stated, “which I’d like to say, should be the classrooms of today.”.
California isn’t the only school district that is trying to place, technology into their school curriculum. A smaller school district in Mooresville, has incorporated going digital in their school district of 5,500 students. The Mooresville Grade school district distributes one laptop to each student starting from 4th grade, then trained teachers to apply the technology in their lesson.
“At this school, this has only been going on for a few years, but so far the results have been remarkable,” stated President Obama, to a crowd full of middle school students, teachers and administrators. “Graduation rates are up. Last year out of 115 school districts in North Carolina, you ranked in the bottom 10 in the amount of money you spend per student, but you ranked number two in student achievement.” said President Obama speaking at Mooresville middle school.
With understanding technology is the future of America, should schools use money to allow students to receive new IPads in hopes to achieve a better learning environment? One might say it’s a waste of money, while others are testify these changes across the nation help our students future. Let’s look at some of the advantages of having not only high-speed internet available to the students, but the equipment to utilize the services. One aspect of having new technology available to students such as the iPad or other products like it; allows for books and reading material to remain current. With a digital book, an updated version would be available instantly. Paper wasted across the school district will significantly drop, which in turn saves money, tests would be able to be digital which would allow teachers to get test scores faster and free up time for them to concentrate on planning and implanting other educational assignments.
Setting up America to have high-speed, 1Gb internet access, across the country will allow for consumers to implement new practices. Will this increase performance in schools? Will the availability of having internet access become cheaper for the average consumer? Let’s just say a country in motion stays in motion and this is another great push in keeping America on that path.