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Scoop from Edsurge: One thing every school needs to make it work - great bandwidth

Fresh off the digital 'press' from Edsurge (thanks to Betsy Corcoran and her team), is the (audacious) educationsuperhighway. The article really caught my eye as the initiative in the US seems to have several parallels with the Ultra-fast and Rural broadband initiativesin New Zealand. While there are also some big differences, there might be points that could be learned from, such as "templates...[that] show schools how to ensure that they distribute that bandwidth effectively throughout the schools, as too often connectivity shrinks at the campus threshold".

The overview from Edsurge reads:

There's one thing that every school needs to make it work: great bandwidth. Reports suggest that connections exist but too often connectivity is simply not reliable enough for teachers to count on it being available. Now serial entrepreneur, Evan Marwell, hopes to solve this problem. "My end goal is that every school has 100 Megabits per second," he declares. And yes, he's counting all 100,000 or so public schools in the U.S. To take on this audacious goal, Marwell is creating a 501c3 called EducationSuperhighway and a three-step plan. Get the full scoop here.

Image source

Faster broadband is coming - Ministry of Economic Development

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Comment by Hazel Owen on July 9, 2012 at 14:30

You make a great point, Mary. I've been up in northland recently, working on a T-stick. I still have the luxury of broadband (when the T stick works), but wow, do I notice the speed. I have to let a video buffer before watching it, and it chews through my data allowance like nobody's business. TED Talks (and BlipTV with the mv4 download option) are lifesavers. It also made me appreciate people who sent me images that had been compressed / re-sized (with an option to click through to the full size image if I felt it important), and also anyone who has a design where I am forced to download a file to see what is in it really raises my bloodpressure ;-)

 

I feel that having been out in the middle of a paddock has really underscored for me the importance (essential) of design for access (geographical, physical, and technical) for ICT enhanced learning to be effective and a seamless part of a learning experience. And creative tools that enable offline creativity / work for students, and then create a tiny file for global sharing, are wonderful. The Universal Design for Learning principles are also a great guide for design.

 

Comment by Mary on July 7, 2012 at 9:12

This is such an important issue. There is more than one digital divide, and the connection speed digital divide is not really understood or believed by people who only use city internet. When I use video for Gifted Online, I almost always use something like a TED talk that can easily and legally be downloaded and watched later, as rural connections often don't stream, but break up video in a manner that is painful to behold. TED video download links are beneath the videos, if you hadn't spotted them. Video is not the only problem of course, but it is one that really impacts on the range of learning resources available for some schools.

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