If you’re a classroom teacher, you might not think too much about last year’s overhaul of the E-Rate program.
But maybe you should.
The changes to E-Rate — a significant source of funding for school and library internet services — affect learning and teaching on a daily basis, and additional changes are afoot.
“Connectivity underlies digital learning,” said Jon Bernstein, legislative counsel for ISTE. “Without it, teachers would be unable to capitalize on digital tools, services and apps that personalize learning, flip classrooms, provide real-time grading, reach parents and take virtual field trips.”
Bernstein, who has been advocating on behalf of ISTE to transform E-Rate since 2008, says the E-Rate focus is on making sure every single classroom has Wi-Fi. “Anytime you want to play a video, send a tweet or do research, it happens because there’s sufficient bandwidth. Every school in the country, public and private, will have adequate bandwidth in classrooms within five years,” he said.
E-Rate modernization also resulted in significant increases in the funding available to schools for internet and specifically Wi-Fi. In 2016, nearly $5 billion will be available to schools through E-Rate, nearly twice the funding that was available just two years ago.
In addition, within the next two years, the FCC will implement rule changes that encourage and help rural schools build out their connections.
If E-Rate news has suddenly taken on a larger importance in your world, join the webinar where you’ll get:
An understanding of the new goals for the E-Rate program.
An understanding of how the new rules will work for Wi-Fi and wired connections.
Information on when the next round of funding will be available.
Knowledge of the next big fight – connecting all kids to broadband at home.