President Obama hopes to keep teachers ConnectED

Posted on Monday, 1/20/2014 2:16 PM

With the number of students and teachers using online technology to further their educational experiences rising, school resources are struggling to keep up with proper Internet speed and capabilities. According to a statement released by the White House, the average school's Internet connection is around the same speed as it is in the average home, but it serves almost 200 times as many users. Additionally, the release states that only 20 percent of educators say their connection adequately serves their teaching needs.

Because of this, President Obama unveiled a new initiative last June that would aim to connect all students to the Internet to better serve their educational needs. The program, ConnectED, aims to connect students from all areas of the U.S. with the same high-speed digital broadband connection that will help usher students into a more technologically connected teaching era.

Student connectivity
President Obama hopes to see 99 percent of American students benefit from the ConnectED initiative within the next five years. Through the use of high-speed wireless in school classrooms and libraries, the initiative will ensure all students have equal access to the best quality broadband services to assist in furthering their education. 

To achieve this next-generation broadband connection, President Obama has enlisted the help of the Federal Communications Commission and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to improve the quality of pre-existing connections and assist in developing better connectivity for the remainder of classrooms.

Teacher resources
In addition to providing schools with a faster Internet connection, the program has created a Learning Registry where teachers from around the country have access to the best teaching resources available. 

Richard Culatta, deputy director of the Office of Educational Technology at the Department of Education, recently spoke to District Administration about the program. 

"Just getting those kids online and giving them mobile devices doesn't actually help much," he told the source. "What does help is when you use those devices to give them access to better, more interactive, engaging high quality digital material that are aligned to college and career-ready standards."

This database, which catalogues student software and faculty software, currently has more than 400,000 resources and continues to grow. Culatta likened the database to a library card catalog, explaining that teachers could use the digital cards in order to find exactly where the resources they need can be found. 

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