The Federal Communications Commission’s E-rate program connects the nation’s schools and libraries to broadband. It is the government’s largest educational technology program. Since it was founded in 1996 where only 14 percent of the nation’s K-12 classrooms had access to the Internet, it has grown to ensure schools and libraries have internet access today.
On December 11, the FCC agreed to increase the spending to enable more schools and libraries in poor or rural areas to gain access to high-speed internet. The jump in spending totals $3.9 billion and will open up to the two-thirds of American schools that still don’t have access to fast internet connections.
As we know, the learning experience is continuously changing. There are a number of internet-based digital learning technologies available – a trend that highlights the growing importance of the internet in giving students access to interactive conversations with teachers, peers, the ability to do homework, apply for scholarships and gain basic job skills.
The measures put in place by the FCC highlight the importance of enabling youth to connect online, and hopefully, in time learn to code to prepare for the jobs of the future.