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Districts must plan carefully to make most of state, federal money for technology

Posted on 07/22/2013

E-Books / 21st Century Classroom

The state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown signed June 2013 includes $1.25 billion to accelerate the adoption of the Common Core External link opens in new window or tab in California. Also in June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative External link opens in new window or tab to connect 99 percent of America's K-12 students to 1 gigabit of bandwidth in the next five years. Together, these bold programs have created a moment of opportunity for California's K-12 schools to transform teaching and learning by upgrading their classrooms for 21st century learning.

The 21st century classroom will leverage technology to improve student outcomes by personalizing learning, empowering our teachers and ensuring every student has equal access to compelling curricula. At the foundation of the 21st century classroom is robust Internet infrastructure. Our schools need ubiquitous wireless networks and 100 megabits of Internet connectivity (growing to 1 gigabit in the next five years) to support one-to-one digital learning. (To put this in context, it takes about 1.5 megabits to stream standard definition video in the classroom. Assuming every student is using video as a learning tool at his or her own pace, you'd need 45 megabits of connectivity for a 30-student classroom.)

Unfortunately, according to Education Super Highway's National School Speed Test External link opens in new window or tab, only 23 percent of America's schools have the bandwidth they need for the 21st century classroom and only 27 percent have sufficient bandwidth to implement the Smarter Balanced Assessments External link opens in new window or tab that are critical to the successful implementation of the Common Core.

Learn more about the most common problems reported in this EdSource Commentary External link opens in new window or tab by Evan Marwell