Fast and reliable internet access is a necessity in schools

Posted on Wednesday, 5/1/2013 6:01 pm

School officials in states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have a lot to think about as their individual implementation deadlines loom. Among the factors these individuals must consider is how easy it is for their institutions to access the internet. 

The quality of a school's internet connection will only increase in importance as teachers embrace the web's benefits as a learning tool and assessments go online. If an institution cannot support several classrooms full of students attempting to access the internet at once, instruction could suffer immensely. If educators have yet to make internet access a priority, they may want to follow the lead of those who have.

A stronger network for North Carolina students
In North Carolina, the MCNC, a technology nonprofit organization, has turned to AT&T for assistance improving the internet access it provides for its constituents, which include all 115 of the state's public school districts. According to a press release, this will help North Carolina's schools improve the speed and quality of their internet connections.

"As MCNC continues to expand network communications, AT&T was a clear choice to help meet our growing bandwidth needs," said Joe Freddoso, president and chief executive officer of MCNC. "We operate [the North Carolina Research and Education Network] as a shared platform to deliver broadband services, giving our schools and our state a real competitive advantage in today's new broadband economy."

Currently, schools throughout North Carolina use five to seven times more bandwidth than they did three years ago. With more advanced internet capabilities, educators teaching at these institutions may be better able to help students succeed in CCSS-aligned classrooms.

The importance of high-speed internet in schools
Any individuals who want to understand how necessary the internet is to educators' ability to deliver quality instruction need only look at an Education Week infographic on the 2011-2012 school year. According to this graphic, 60 percent of more than 1,600 teachers are relatively confident that high-speed broadband access leads to educational benefits, such as collaborative learning and multimedia-rich interactions. A total of 21 percent of educators strongly agreed with the same statement.

Of course, students are not the only ones who stand to benefit from faster internet, as teachers also use the web during school hours. High-speed access can make everything from updating an online GradeBook to using other faculty software more convenient.

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