SETDA Statement on ConnectED Initiative Announcement
Washington, DC (June 14, 2013) – State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) executive director Douglas Levin traveled to Mooresville Middle School (Mooresville, NC) on June 6, 2013 to attend the announcement by President Obama of the ConnectED Initiative. SETDA released the following statement from Mr. Levin today regarding that announcement:
“The launch of the ConnectED Initiative by President Obama is a significant and important step in ensuring that every student in the nation’s schools graduates with a high-quality education, prepared to pursue postsecondary education and fully participate in the 21st century global economy. Working in partnership with the states, the federal government continues to have a critical role to play in the deployment of high-speed broadband to schools, classrooms, and communities sufficient to meeting the evolving needs of teaching and learning in a digital age.
“In the May 2012 release of The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Education Infrastructure Needs, SETDA set forth the consensus recommendations of state educational technology directors – based on research, best practice, trends, and expert opinion – establishing a target of external Internet connections to schools of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students and educators by the 2014-15 school year, rising to 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and educators by the 2017-18 school year. Given that bandwidth availability determines which online content, applications, and functionality students and educators will be able to use effectively in the classroom, additional bandwidth will be required in many, if not most, K-12 districts in this country in the coming years.
“SETDA also appreciates the attention ConnectED draws to the need to build the capacity of educators to leverage technology to improve teaching and learning through professional development, and on the importance of access to affordable, effective digital learning tools and applications in all schools.
If we are serious as a nation about employing digital learning tools to dramatically accelerate the preparation of all students for college and careers, a concerted national effort – including new funding and resources – will be required to meet the challenges the President has set forth. SETDA is committed to working with the Obama Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Congress and in partnership with like-minded organizations to ensure that the needs identified in the launch of the ConnectED Initiative are addressed swiftly and comprehensively.”