Thursday, December 17, 2009

Broadband: Changing the Face of Education

This post is a guest spot from Broadband for America's Kate Drazner. Visit their website to find out more about their initiative to make broadband access to the internet available to every household in the nation; to provide data transfer speeds to make that broadband experience valuable to users; and to provide the bandwidth necessary for content providers to continue to make the internet a cultural, societal, and economic engine for growth.


In today's changing educational environment, children will need access to high-speed Internet in order to get a complete schooling experience that is on par with their fellow classmates across the country. To that end, Broadband for America's goal is to bring high-speed Internet access to every home, business and individual across the nation.

Statistics show that students, especially those in the minority and rural communities, have alarmingly high dropout rates in high-school when those students do not have access to a computer or broadband.

Conversely, those same students who do have access are amongst the nation's top academic performers.

While publishers of educational material in the United States like Prestwick House have long excelled in providing more traditional offerings of paperback books, teaching guides and vocabulary programs, they have also seen firsthand the increasing benefits to education through technology. Implementing the benefits of broadband will take those resources to the next level.

The options for students of all ages are nearly limitless: streaming educational videos, online textbooks, conferencing with guest instructors, online tutoring, or even viewing priceless artwork over the web.

Prestwick House is already a part of the broadband educational revolution, offering "PowerPresentations," which run on PowerPoint and SMARTBoard. With their goal of aiding teachers of all levels of English and Language Arts, they have also taken on the initiative of providing teaching resources that work well in a 21st century classroom and have extended their reach through social networking and blogging.

However, putting those tools to work requires not only access to high-speed Internet, but adoption by nearly half of all Americans who rely on slower connections or cannot access the Internet at all. The challenge of today, and tomorrow, is ensuring that all students have access to the same educational tools, including high-speed Internet, which will allow them to succeed in the academic sector and to later compete in the global economy.

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