Education and the National Broadband Plan

Posted by Michael Simkins on October 5, 2009

fiberOptics by Matt Tanguay-Carel.  Used with permission.
fiberOptics by Matt Tanguay-Carel. Used with permission.

Most of us are aware that work is underway at the Department of Education on a new National Educational Technology Plan, but you may not know that education figures prominently in another federal technology initiative, the National Broadband Plan being developing at the Federal Communications Commission.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act directs the FCC to develop a plan that ensures every American citizen and every American business has access to robust broadband services.  The plan must include discrete strategies for how to use broadband to advance a wide range of national purposes from consumer welfare to health care delivery; education is among these.

To help collect ideas on what should go into the education component of the broadband plan, an IdeaScale portal is in place.   Here is a selection of some of the more interesting ideas contributed so far.

  • We’re asking the wrong question; it should be, “What kinds of research and development are needed to make emerging technology applications effective for learning?”
  • Collaboration, Internet research, and the organization and facilitation of the learning environment are the jobs of the modern educator; all of these technologies require broadband.
  • A blended model is best; use the technology and application that fits the current learning task.
  • In today’s challenging economic environment, the dramatically lower cost of broadband delivery makes the case for an online learning portal especially compelling.
  • Broadband can do more than just educate, it can inspire and open minds.

Have your own ideas about how broadband can make education better and/or cheaper?  Want to see what others have said and add your comments?  Like voting ideas up or down?  Visit US Educational Broadband Planning.