With an unstipulated amount of funding from the Gates Foundation, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million Startup: Education Fund and other foundations, Education Superhighway just launched its high-speed broadband Internet program nationwide. Today, like never before, students need to take advantage of the best electronic learning tools available and only lightning fast Internet can provide them.
School districts around the country are also under ever-increasing pressure to deliver these tools to their students. The majority of school systems in America lack fast enough Internet connections to effectively teach students even basic digital skills such as computer programming, according to Education Superhighway, a not-for-profit organization.
In an effort to remove any roadblocks to high-speed broadband Internet, Education Superhighway, based in San Francisco, is working with K-12 school districts across the nation. Few things are more distracting and frustrating to students than interactive content that will not load or distorted video tutorials.
Panorama Education, organized by a 22-year-old Yale graduate, was the first beneficiary of grants from Startup: Education and Education Superhighway is the second known project Zuckerberg has contributed to.
“When schools and teachers have access to reliable Internet connections, students can discover new skills and ideas beyond the classroom,” said the Facebook founder in a written statement. “The future of our economy and society depend largely on the next generation using and building new online tools and services, and I’m glad to support Education Superhighway’s work.”
Government agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), share Education Superhighway’s vision and is working industriously to connect 99 percent of America’s K-12 students to Wi-Fi and broadband. The FCC is implementing strategies mandated by the Obama administration.
The FCC was recently ordered by the president to revamp and modernize its E-Rate program. The E-Rate program subsidizes Internet services for libraries and schools. The FCC found 80 percent of E-Rate recipients did not have sufficient broadband connectivity and more bandwidth was needed in 78 percent of E-Rate recipients according to 2012 FCC report on connectivity in schools.
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