This article is cross-posted from edtechtimes.com, where I currently serve as editor-in-chief.
The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) launched a petition to the White House today asking the Obama Administration to invest in school broadband connectivity.
ISTE’s website states that “only 13 percent of schools have the broadband they need to give students the same online access that most Americans have at home, work or even in a coffee shop.” Without broadband online connectivity, students and educators are limited in their digital access of widespread educational technology resources available in the market.
Additionally, ISTE notes that, “as students and educators embrace personalized instruction, online and mobile learning, adaptive assessments and data-driven decision making, and develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication and digital citizenship skills, demands on school networks will continue to skyrocket.” While acknowledging the success of E-Rate, established in 1996 to assist schools & libraries in obtaining affordable telecommunications and internet access, ISTE also notes that the program is not enough to meet rapidly growing broadband needs of schools.
How does this affect the larger educational technology community? As part of a greater message, this petition helps to raise awareness that the expanding educational technology market is limited by this lack of broadband access. Any product or service which relies on connectivity may have limited traction until broadband access becomes ubiquitous in schools.