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Questions Surround E-Rate

by Jeff Patterson

eSchool News

Article excerpt

It’s time to ask how E-rate will impact learning outcomes

The new focus on connectivity is great, but now we must ask ourselves another question: “How will this connectivity improve learning outcomes?” In other words, what are we going to do with this bandwidth?

Our take

Focusing on Connectivity to Deliver Strategic Results

E-rate, or the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, was recently given a facelift and a boost in funding, helping to ensure Internet access and wireless coverage for school systems around the country. While education has been focused on increasing bandwidth, an important objective, some are questioning whether that is enough and pointing out that educators must also find meaningful ways to use that bandwidth to effectively impact learning anytime, anywhere. Yes, access is good, but what will you do with it?

Educational administrators and instructors need to think strategically about how they will leverage technology to drive learning goals and objectives. Technology is a great tool to help deliver information within, and outside of, the traditional walls of educational institutions. Technology, though, should be viewed not as the end-game, but as an important means to some well-articulated and strategically formulated end.