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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorLast week, the Federal Communications Commission voted along partisan lines to expand the Lifeline program by adding broadband internet service as a supported service. The Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Report seeked public comments on a variety of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program so that all consumers can access advanced networks while increasing the program's accountability and efficiency. The FCC's call for comments raises a number of questions about how best to modernize the Lifeline program, including issues around identifying low-income households that include school children and ensure they are aware of and have the opportunity to participate in a broadband access program, adopting minimum service standards for both voice and broadband service, reducing subsidy support for Lifeline supported mobile voice-only service, and encouraging more competition to improve price and service.

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Voice from the Field

Ann McMullan, Educational Technology ConsultantRumbles on the Road

As I travel across the U.S. and internationally I hear and see many common challenges in ramping up K-12 education systems to truly meet the needs of all K-12 students and provide them with the knowledge and skills that are critical for their futures.

  • The need for change which leverages and maximizes the power for learning that access to digital media provides
  • Effectively implementing that change
  • The need for vendors to assist their school clients in all phases of implementing new technologies

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamI know how busy many of you have been this week in the days leading into ISTE 2015. It promises to be another wonderful conference, and the Snoop regrets having to miss it this year. Before you head to Philadelphia, take just a moment to catch up on my many pre-ISTE scoops....

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SIIA Releases Behind the Data Report Showing Shift in Online Course Definition

The Education Technology Information Network (ETIN) of SIIA released the second report in a new series of Behind the Data publications titled, PreK-12 Online Course Market. This report was researched and written by John Richards and Leslie Stebbins of Consulting Services for Education, Inc. and is an extension of ETIN’s annual vendor survey on the PreK-12 U.S. Education Technology Market, which reports the size of the market for school software, content and digital services. The ETIN PreK-12 Market Survey covering the 2013-2014 school year showed that revenues in the Online Course category grew 320% from the previous year. This very large reported increase prompted the need to further investigate and analyze the reasons behind the numbers. Extensive interviews were conducted with 25 industry executives from 21 companies, most of who participated in the survey.

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The CDW-G K-12 Connected Heat Map: Examining Classroom Connectivity

Thanks to E-Rate, 99 percent of America's K-12 public schools and libraries are connected to the Internet. The majority of U.S. schools, however, do not have enough bandwidth to meet the current needs for digital learning. As 1:1 learning models, online classes and digital content continue to proliferate, the technology foundation needed to support them - down to the classroom level - will become even more critical. To better understand the current state of classroom connectivity, CDW-G surveyed 400 IT professionals from K-12 public school districts and private schools to build the CDW-G K-12 Connected Heat Map. The Heat Map shows the current prevalence of wired and wireless connectivity state-by-state.

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