A lot of people forget just how much money the government spends when it
comes to school improvements and technology, and while the budget
crunch has definitely hurt some of that, a new program is about to get
kicked off with $9 million of support. The Federal Communications
Commission announced 20 pilot programs that are slated to receive
government funding to pay for "wireless broadband connections for
laptops, smart phones and other
mobile devices, which students will be able to take with them after the
school day ends."
This is a huge project, and if it goes well, it could change the lives
of students everywhere. Despite the statistics, tons of students go home
and have no Internet access. That's a real killer when it comes to
learning and completing homework, so giving them the opportunity to have
it could definitely revolutionize the lives of students. It's called
Learning On-The-Go, and it's scheduled to reach 35,000 students across
14 states in the 2011-2012 school year. It'll be paid for through the
government's E-Rate program, which has been structured to fund Internet
access in schools and libraries; until now, that program has never been
used to pay for off-campus connections, but this seems like the perfect
opportunity to change that.
The pilot will fund connections in elementary and secondary schools in
New Orleans, Philly and Canton, with each city getting something a
little different. NoLa will get laptop connections, while Philly gets
wireless cards for low-income households and Canton gets smartphone
access for students in need. When it's all said and done, money will go
to projects in Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Ohio, Georgia,
Texas, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, California, New
Mexico and Iowa, and we definitely hope it turns out to be a success.
The more Internet, the merrier!