BOWLING GREEN, Ky., Nov. 19, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Nonprofit Connected Nation (CN) announced today the launch of Connect K-12, a free website that provides internet speed and pricing transparency information to help schools identify broadband solutions and negotiate better deals for services—with the objective of helping schools achieve the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) school bandwidth goal of 1 Mbps per student in every school nationwide.
The easy-to-use site, which can be found at connectk12.org, was designed to provide useful insights that can lead to informed action and includes a national dashboard that tracks state progress toward meeting the FCC's goal. It was developed in partnership with Funds For Learning Inc. and carries forward the important work of nonprofit EducationSuperHighway, which sunset in August.
"Improving connectivity at school and in the home has become a national priority as our students and teachers navigate a world that has been so deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Emily Jordan, Vice President, Connect K-12. "Digital teaching and learning can only happen when adequate broadband is available. Connect K-12 will equip state and school district leaders with the powerful intelligence they need to identify better internet pricing and negotiate cost-effective upgrades to meet this demand. This will ultimately empower leaders to ensure digital learning opportunities are available for every student."
In addition to the Connect K-12 website launch, CN released a report the can found here: connectk12.org/national. It examines the state of classroom connectivity across the US. Some highlights include:
47% of districts nationwide are already meeting the 1 Mbps per student goal, representing 15.4 million students, 6,132 school districts
31.9 million students do not yet have access to the bandwidth needed for digital learning to happen in every classroom, every day
67% of students still need access to scalable broadband for digital learning
With the data available on Connect K-12, 33% of districts can be upgraded in the 2020-2021 school year, about 4,300 school districts nationwide
"The integration of laptops, Chromebooks, and tablets into the learning process has grown at a pace that has far exceeded internet bandwidth growth within America's schools," said Brent Legg, CN's Executive Vice President, Government Affairs. "In response to the pandemic, millions of devices have been purchased to enable learning everywhere, and as in-person classes eventually return, those devices will be connected to school networks and will fuel the need for greater bandwidth. Connect K-12 will provide state and school district leaders with the insights they need to meet that demand head-on so that digital learning can happen in every classroom, every day."