On November 16, Governor Brownback and Education Commissioner Watson announced the launch of the Kansas Connect and Learn Initiative in partnership with EducationSuperHighway. We are excited to join together to support the work being done in Kansas to ensure every student and teacher in Kansas has the bandwidth they need for 21st century learning.
To accomplish this goal, stakeholders across the state will work together to increase connectivity in Kansas schools. The 2016 Kansas Digital Learning Report indicates that 26% of Kansas school districts believe their network infrastructure is not digital learning ready. EducationSuperHighway also performed an analysis of 2015 E-rate connectivity data which confirms this need, showing that 20% of school districts in the state do not have fast enough bandwidth speeds to support digital learning in the classroom.
Speaking about the new initiative, the Kansas Commissioner of Education, Randy Watson, said, “This partnership will help expand technology in every classroom across the state. The goal of this initiative is for every child to have the same opportunities when it comes to learning through technology. This is important — especially since the new vision focuses on every child becoming successful.”
To make this happen, EducationSuperHighway will work closely with the Governor’s Office and the State Department of Education to identify and support the schools not meeting minimum bandwidth goals or that need access to high-speed infrastructure. We will also work with the service provider community to develop creative solutions to bring the necessary services to each school.
Closing the connectivity gap is important to state leaders in Kansas and we look forward to working with schools, service providers, and state agencies to connect schools via affordable, scalable connectivity that can meet their digital learning needs today and in the future.