Broadband access is very important to education in many areas. Listed here are four
critical areas of use in WV schools:
- Access for WV students to on-line rigorous courses (AP, Foreign language, advanced math and science, etc.) which would not be available to them in the regular school curriculum. The West Virginia Department of Education’s Education Technology for 21st Century Learners Strategic Work Plan recommends all students complete at least one comprehensive structured on-line instructional learning experience. These on-line learning opportunities prepare students for the real-world and life-long learning.
- Access to comprehensive on-line assessment for all students. On-line assessments provide timely and critical data for assessing student learning thus allowing for effective data driven decision-making by teachers and administrators. West Virginia is currently conducting on-line writing assessments and has plans to conduct 21st Century Skills assessments in the near future as recommended in the Education Technology for 21st Century Learners Strategic Work Plan.
- Access for all students to engaging online multimedia resources that provide opportunities for students to engage in real world problem-solving, communication/ collaboration, and development of creative solutions to problems.
- Access for WV educators to on-line professional development courses providing anytime, anywhere learning opportunities. The need for professional development is high. To address this need the West Virginia Department of Education has entered into a collaborative effort to build local e-Learning for Educators that will serve the teacher quality and professional development needs of each state.
Broadband Implementation Recommendations
Based on recommendations in both National and State reports, West Virginia schools need to increase broadband infrastructure in significant measure. For the implementation of the critical need areas above, WV schools need to look not only at the next few years but also look forward to the 5 -7 year recommendation from the National Broadband report.
Broadband report from State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA)
SETDA, representing all 50 states and DC, released the “High-Speed Broadband Access for All Kids: Breaking through the Barriers” report to address the growing concern and critical need for high-speed Internet access among our districts and schools.
Key recommendations include:
In a technology-rich learning environment for the next 2-3 years, SETDA recommends:
- An external Internet connection to the Internet Service Provider of 10 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff
- Internal wide area network connections (WAN) from the district to each school between schools of at least 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff
In a technology-rich learning environment for the next 5-7 years, SETDA recommends:
- An external Internet connection to the Internet Service Provider of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff
- Internal wide area network connections from the district to each school between schools of at least 1 Gbps per 1,000 students/staff
West Virginia Department of Education
1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV 25305
(Staff Phone and Email by Name) (School Directory)
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