- As bandwidth needs of schools escalate, districts are faced with the need to pay for new and improved networks. School boards are often reluctant to invest in what they don’t understand so IT directors are getting creative with their presentations, EdTech reports.
- Sometimes this means showing school board members simplified comparisons and diagrams. It can also mean ensuring stakeholders understand how E-rate discounts work and how building a fiber network can pay off in the long run.
- EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit working to make sure every classroom has internet access, consults with IT administrators and provides resources that allow them to go into discussions about technology upgrades loaded with information and visual demonstrations.
The rampant escalation of ed tech is gobbling up broadband space at dizzying rates. In order for service to work, IT directors need to upgrade systems regularly. The internet of things, which includes security, door locks, video surveillance and even heating and air-conditioning operations. is using network space as well.
This problem is even more challenging for rural districts that may not be able to get enough broadband through land-based systems which means they have to rely on satellite internet.
The Federal Communication Commission's E-rate program continues to make broadband connections more affordable for schools. Eligible schools and libraries can save 20% to 90% percent through the program.
The good news is that most schools do have adequate internet service. EducationSuperHighway's 2018 State of the States report finds that 96% of schools have high-speed internet connections, which equates to 44 million students. At the same time, there are still 1,356 schools that are not connected, and connecting rural schools to adequate broadband is still one of the greatest challenges.