Class and Broadband

While most schools in the United States (in fact, 98 percent) have basic Internet access, for many that access is cripplingly slow–too slow to accommodate technology-driven educational initiatives–according to a new report from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). The group is recommending certain baseline figures for adequate bandwidth for schools and proposing policy changes to effect upgrades over the next five to seven years.

SETDA, an education technology advocacy group based in Maryland, released its report, High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking Through the Barriers, to call attention to the “critical” issue of broadband access in schools and to get stakeholders prepared to achieve growth in the quality of broadband that schools need in order to take technology-based learning to the next level.

Dave Nagel, Tech Association Calls for Greater Broadband Access for Schools, the Journal, June 2008

This is a report that I wanted to note even though I don’t have much to add. It seems like more of the same. I think, though, that we can’t be reminded often enough that whenever we hear about a problem, say, the lack of funding for public schools, the impact is always shaped by class.

I am reminded of this each time I read a piece celebrating Web 2.0. There was a nice reflection on talking with students about these sorts of issues earlier this month at the Education and Class blog. I liked the excerpt from Borderland, as well as the comment from Urban Scientist.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Post Navigation