Priorities

Broadband Imperative III Equity Access and Student SuccessInfrastructure for the Future

There is not a one size fits all for digital learning implementation and districts and schools should determine their digital learning pedagogical goals and administrative bandwidth needs, and then design the capacity of their network to anticipate future growth and utilization, ensuring that schools are not under-provisioning bandwidth that is necessary for digital learning approaches. Proactively providing adequate bandwidth, provisioning a scalable underlying architecture, and having the information necessary to increase bandwidth in time to meet needs in the future is critical. All network leaders should also look to the future with anticipation that schools and districts will ultimately function with innovative, seamless digital learning similar to the corporate structure.

Peak Utilization Internet Capacity

In  considering future projections, experts analyzed four years of internet usage data, identified by school size and rurality for over 300 districts serving 1.8 million students. Appendix A provides detailed information about the methodology and calculations used for this analysis. Based on this in-depth analysis, for the 2023-24 school year, SETDA encourages districts to have the ability to implement the architecture and to provision enough bandwidth to ensure adequate user experiences during peak utilization.

  • Small Districts – At least 2.8 Mbps per user with a minimum of 300 Mbps per district
  • Medium Districts – At least 2 Mbps per user
  • Large Districts – At least 1.4 Mbps per user
Wide Area Network Capacity

SETDA acknowledges that as more digital content and applications move to the cloud, the per user bandwidth requirements for WAN and internet access will move closer to convergence; however, WAN plays a critical role and measurements of WAN efficacy and utility should include more than bandwidth alone. SETDA recommends that districts have the capability to support WANs with 10 GB capacity per 1,000 users, where users are administrators, teachers, students, staff and guests.

Planning for Technology Disruptions

As access to innovative pedagogical approaches that utilize digital tools and resources increases, the reliability and speed of the network are critical. In the article, Pursue Digital Equity Through Access and Opportunity – All Means All, the challenges facing many schools include the capacity of the network. “When there is not enough bandwidth to accommodate access and applications don’t load or crash, the frustration and waste of instructional opportunities mount.” According to the Parana River group, a learning disruption occurs when there is inadequate bandwidth for a teacher to effectively utilize technology in the classroom causing the teacher to modify his/her pedagogy to NOT use the technology. Further, if the disruption occurs repeatedly, then the learning disruptions may impact the future use of technology for teaching and learning. Proactively providing adequate bandwidth, provisioning a scalable underlying architecture, and having the information necessary to increase bandwidth in time to meet needs in the future is critical.

There are many variables that affect bandwidth needs, including administrative applications; the Internet of Things (IOT); implementation of smart technologies; and the number of devices per user accessing the network.

LEADERSHIP - TECHNOLOGY - INNOVATION - LEARNING
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