SEND (Smart Education Networks by Design)
Maximizing K-12 Fiber Connectivity Through E-Rate: An Overview
Maximizing K-12 Fiber Connectivity Through E-Rate: An Overview was co-authored by Keith Krueger, CEO of CoSN; Ryan Thompson, Student at Harvard Law School; and David Talbot, Fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Center.
The toolkit comprises three parts: provides an overview of the E-rate program and the types of fiber eligible through the program; describes important considerations for schools to assess their options; issues a call to action for school systems to begin taking measurable steps toward deciding on and making effective use of today’s fiber connectivity options.
Download the K-12 Fiber Toolkit here
- Information Technology in Schools
- Data and Capacity
- Network Design Considerations
- Access Points and Wireless Connectivity
- Connecting Devices to the Network
- Connecting from Outside of School
- Understanding Device Capabilities
- Recognize that education networks are critical components of schools' infrastructures
- Recognize that 1-to-1 programs are quickly becoming mainstream, and plan accordingly
- Start network planning & upgrade processes by consulting with teachers and administrators
- Plan for substantial training and support
- Understand that accessing content and resources is just as critical outside of the classroom as inside
- Ensure that rigorous security measures are built into your network designs
- Make future-focused design choices in terms of scalability and adaptability
Conclusions: Looking Ahead
Most U.S. schools and school districts are at critical junctures in their technology planning and investment life cycles. IT decision makers can easily be overwhelmed by the change observed in classroom instructional techniques, the widespread proliferation of consumer devices on their campuses, and the promise of transformative teaching and learning effectiveness offered by mobile computing. Student engagement and academic achievement can be transformed by 24/7 access to quality digital content and personalized learning models, but only if reliable education networks have been established. Furthermore, network designers must consider not only today's bandwidth demands, but also what future innovations may require. The SEND Guidelines for School System Chief Technology Officers list our full recommendations and conclusions.
Further References & Resources:
See also the Leadership for Mobile Learning resource: Critical Questions to Ask Your Software Vendor
Interoperability Report: K-12 education hasn’t focused on interoperability—the seamless sharing of data content and services among systems and applications. Our new report, Eliminating Ed Tech Havoc: Why Open Standards Matter, will help district technology leaders understand why interoperability standards matter. This report highlights the most important, widely used, and emerging standards.
Critical CTO Conversations: District Leadership: Taking the digital leap means changing everything. Old organizational structures are no longer functional for new organizational needs. Traditional interfaces between departments are obsolete. And the role of IT becomes central to enabling teaching and learning. The modern CTO should be having critical conversations both inside and outside of the organization in order to be effective in a dramatically evolving environment.
Cyber Security: Technology leaders and policymakers need to protect their networks and information security, analyze their current status, and validate what they are doing well. CoSN provides tools and resources that provide insight into how risk can be further reduced in ways that help technology contribute to their school’s primary goal of teaching and learning. We also offer assistance to district technology leaders who are working to ensure safety for both students and staff.
IT Crisis Preparedness: Technology programs have grown to touch almost every aspect of activities in modern-day schools, including teaching and learning, data-tracking and record-keeping, internal and external communications, and more. Events in our country such as Hurricane Katrina and the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School have illustrated the need for school technology leaders to be actively involved in crisis preparedness to ensure student safety and business continuity. CoSN helps district technology leaders identify best practices and develop strategies for shutting down and starting up critical services.