Page 19 - THE Journal, March/April 2019
P. 19

2. Momentum on Broadband @ School
Broadband to the classroom continues to improve, again due to the focused investment of E-rate funding. Ninety-two percent of districts are meeting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students for all their schools. Even more impressive, this year, over a third (35 percent) of districts achieved the FCC long-term goal (1 Gbps per 1,000 students) for all schools – up nearly 100 percent from last year.
There was also marked reduction in the cost of internet access
for the majority of school districts. Three quarters of districts report paying less than $5 per Mbps for their internet as compared to 60 percent the prior year. The majority of districts are also in the lowest paying bracket for WAN, with 68 percent paying less than $5 per Mbps.
Why does this matter? Districts need robust, affordable broadband access to enable digital teaching and learning. While there are several factors driving broadband demand, the number of student devices contin- ues to be the top driver for three consecutive years.
3. Not all Schools Have Broadband, Especially in Rural Areas
While districts are making overall progress on broadband, many rural schools lack affordable broadband access often due to lack of competition. Rural districts account for half of all districts with zero or one broadband provider under E-rate Category 1.
Why does this matter? Rural students are being left behind compared to their urban and suburban counterparts. Policymakers and educators should stay focused on continuing efforts to provide affordable broad- band access to all students, especially in rural communities.
4. The Homework Gap Persists
Fewer than 10 percent of districts report that every student has access to non-shared devices at home.
Why does this matter? Digital learning is not limited to the classroom. Students need access to devices and robust internet connectivity in school and at home. Students lacking 1-to-1 device access at home have more limited learning opportunities and may have difficulty completing their homework. That difficulty puts them at a disadvantage compared to their better-resourced peers.
5. Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity is a top-tier challenge for school district technology leaders, as noted in the 2018 CoSN IT Leadership Survey (March). The majority of districts (52 percent) say breach detection is their highest cybersecurity service concern. Despite concerns about a myriad of network security threats, only 12 percent of districts have a dedicated network security person to manage the challenges.
Why does this matter? Cybersecurity threats can compromise district operations and student records. Without adequate staffing, these threats cannot be addressed and managed effectively.
CoSN is committed to providing up-to-date, unvarnished data to help ed tech leaders carry out important conversations with other school and local leaders. To learn more about CoSN’s leadership and the report, please visit: Note: CoSN’s 2019 Leadership Survey will be released in the next month. Watch your email box.
Keith Krueger is CEO of CoSN, the Consortium for School Networking.
#296e92 r: 41
g: 110
b: 146
Subscribe to one of our newsletters!
THE_E-Newsletters_half-page.indd 1
MARCH/APRIL 2019 | 19 2/3/17 11:35 AM

   17   18   19   20   21