FCC Announces $9 million for 35,000 students across 14 states for E-rate Mobile Pilot

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced is planning to announced the "Learning On-The-Go" wireless programwhich will provide $9 million for 35,000 students across 14 states.  The pilot is an effort to test how the E-rate can support students with mobile technology. Full press release below.  Our previous blog post on the program here.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                             MEDIA CONTACT:

March 9, 2011                                                                         Robert Kenny: 202-418-0506

                                                                                             Email: Robert.Kenny@fcc.gov

Mark Wigfield: 202-418-0253

                                                                                                Email: Mark.Wigfield@fcc.gov



“Learning On-The-Go” Wireless Pilot Projects Announced at NYC High-Tech School to Support and Advance Digital Learning, Digital Textbooks for K-12 Students

Washington, D.C. – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced E-rate funding for 20 schools and libraries at a digital roundtable discussion held at the iSchool in New York City with the NYC Department of Education. The 2011 “Learning On-The-Go” wireless pilot program will help K-12 students’ connect to the Internet at home and increase their access to digital textbooks, cutting-edge interactive learning tools and other innovative wireless technologies.

The wireless pilot projects builds on the FCC’s major modernization of the E-rate program as a result of National Broadband Plan recommendations by supporting off-campus mobile Internet connections for students.  Previously, the E-rate program supported on-campus connectivity only.  According to a 2010 E-rate survey, approximately 50 percent of the schools and libraries that responded indicated that they plan to implement or expand the use of digital textbooks and other wireless devices for digital learning.

The FCC aims to increase the percentage of schools and libraries across the country using mobile broadband. Mobile learning devices enable teachers and parents to tailor school curriculum and interactive learning to students’ skill sets. Digital textbooks never go out of date and students will have greater opportunities to access the latest educational curriculum available. New wireless devices and applications will also help teacher integrate school and home work assignments for students, creating greater efficiency.  Qualified pilot programs will be funded in the 2011-12 school year, assuming compliance with all other program requirements.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, recent studies by the National Training and Simulation Association in Arlington, VA and others have shown that technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach an objective by 30-80 percent.

Globally, according to studies produced by companies such as NextUp.com, education is nearly a $4 trillion industry and that number will grow rapidly as emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and South America increasingly look to provide high quality education to all their citizens. Education technology likely will play a critical role in the expansion of education in these countries – in much the same way that some developing countries skipped building a landline phone system and built cell networks.  The FCC’s E-Rate program will continue to support schools and libraries across America working toward the goal of helping ensure that America’s students receive the best education and the high-tech skills to compete in the 21st Century economy.

The following 2011 “Learning On-The-Go” wireless pilot projects have been selected by the FCC:

Aurora Public Schools/APS Online (Aurora, CO) 

APS Online is a hybrid online school, meaning the online learning experience is enhanced through focused classroom instruction, with an emphasis on high school students with a variety of socioeconomic challenges (includingmedical challenges, drop-outs or the homeless), many of whom would not still be in school if not for the flexibility to receive instruction from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia Charter (Philadelphia, PA)

This college prep high school for boys from low-income households has a program that allows sophomores to access the Internet through wireless mobile cards. The program supports both core subjects and its technology curriculum.

City School District of New Rochelle (New Rochelle, NY)

This laptop program targets certain student groups (English language learners, economically disadvantaged students, lower-performing students, and students with disabilities) in 5th through 9th grade.  One part of the curriculum’s objective is to enable students to access digital textbooks via wireless connectivity.

Clay Hill Elementary School (Jacksonville, FL)

The district currently has two pilots in progress for Internet access for its students: (1) the Leveraging Technology Initiative, a movement toward 1:1 computing by allowing students to bring their own devices (such as laptop computers, netbooks, tablets, and smartphones) on campus; and (2) the Digital Equity Initiative that addresses devices for low-income students. 

Foxfire Center for Student Success (Zanesville, OH)

This program uses netbooks to expand the availability of mobile technology to its at-risk secondary students beyond the school day through an interactive educational platform that provides teachers the ability to upload assignments and videos, and provide graphic organizers, guided notes, and assessments.

Greater Southern Tier Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) (Watkins Glen, NY)

GST BOCES is an Educational Service Agency that supports 21 component districts in five counties across the Southern Tier of New York State. Its Mobile Learning Device Project will provide middle and high school students with ubiquitous access to online learning devices (such as, smartphones and netbooks) utilizing a virtual classroom software program.

Haralson County Board of Education/Haralson County High School (Buchanan, GA)

This blended learning opportunity program integrates face-to-face learning with online learning opportunities for high school students through the use of netbooks, with an emphasis on achievement in math and science.

Katy Independent School District (Katy, TX)

This program is designed to provide all 5th graders and teachers within the district with smartphones utilizing a classroom management system. The system allows teachers to create and upload assignments to a server where students then can log-in and sync their device to receive the teacher’s updates.

Michigan Technical Academy (Redford, MI)

This netbook program utilizes an online mobile learning environment for its 5th through 8th graders with an emphasis on increasing educational productivity and proficiency with mobile learning devices, and to increase math, science, social studies, and English language arts proficiency with the use of technology.

Mohican School in the Out-of-Doors, Inc. (Butler, OH)

This is an outdoor environmental education school.  The school proposes to use the funds to expand and strengthen environmental mobile learning for its students in grades 5th and 6th via the implementation of learning green tech mobile learning program, enabling computer based instruction to students using handheld devices (such as netbooks, smartphones) in the field.  For example, instead of simply reading about the parts of the flower, students will take pictures of the parts and transmit them via the wireless network.

Onslow County Schools (Jacksonville, NC)

This program is intended to provide smartphones to high school students utilizing Project K-Nect targeted for use with Algebra I.  Project K-Nect was designed to create resources for secondary at-risk students with a goal of increasing their math and science skills.

Orleans Parish School Board/Mary Bethune Elementary School (New Orleans, LA)

This is a laptop program with broadband access through wireless data cards for 3rd through 6th grade elementary students.  The software suite enables teachers to determine students’ level of proficiency and engages a set of applications to empower the students with a digital learning environment.

Piedmont City School District (Piedmont, AL)

The Piedmont City School System became the first school system in Alabama to implement a one-to-one laptop initiative, called MPower Piedmont.  All laptops provide software and access to Internet resources for research, communication, multimedia content creation, and collaboration for use inside and outside of school.

Riverside Unified School District (Riverside, CA)

This program utilizes netbooks, tablets, and laptops for its middle school students at four schools. About 70% of students residing in Riverside have access to free wireless connectivity and low-income students can obtain a free refurbished computer for home use through a digital inclusion training program. Riverside USD uses a cloud-based learning and content management system, which provides a blended learning environment so students and teachers can continue discussions and learning beyond the school walls and times. Riverside USD also collaborates with partners, such as textbook publishers, to provide content in a digital format to students.

Roy Municipal Schools (Roy, NM)

This netbook program provides elementary and secondary students in an extremely rural area with off-premise Internet access to allow for interactive capabilities outside the classroom and beyond scheduled school hours.

San Diego Unified School District (San Diego, CA)

The District has established a Mobile Learning Program to seamlessly integrate ubiquitous, one-to-one computing and other 21st century technology into all teaching and learning throughout the curriculum. Its program will serve 6th grade in eight middle schools and school-wide in two middle schools.

Sioux City Community School District (Sioux City, IA) 

This netbook program will provide wireless connectivity for 10th through 12th grade students across three high schools through blended instruction in its learning management system. This allows the district to extend the time and place of the classroom to virtually anytime and anywhere when coupled with offsite wireless access.

Southern Tier Library System (Painted Post, NY)

The intent is to include handheld mobile devices, such as tablets, netbooks and smartphones as training platforms for its mobile JobLink project which provides online job searching, resume writing, job application skills, and digital literacy to unemployed and under employed individuals within a 3,500 square mile rural service area. The JobLink project would expand that training by providing wireless Internet access on handheld mobile devices.

Summit Academy Community School for Alternative Learners (Canton, OH)

Students enrolled at this school are on individualized learning plans and have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Aspergers’ Disorder, which makes learning a challenge in a traditional classroom environment.  This program utilizes smartphones as a portal to the curriculum, study materials, and a collaboration environment that positions students to be more effective communicators and problem solvers.

Westwood Community Schools/Cyber High School (Dearborn Heights, MI)

This program will use mobile devices and/or desktop computers with wireless mobile cards along with a comprehensive online learning environment that offers a virtual educational experience for high school students who are unable to attend school for a variety of reasons.

The Commission will evaluate the effectiveness of the 2011 “Learning On-The-Go” wireless pilot program to determine whether and how off-premises wireless services should be eligible for continued E-rate support.  Program evaluation will be based on a number of criteria -- to be detailed in a forthcoming order formally selecting the pilot participants -- including usage of educational and research resources by students and library patrons.

For additional information about these projects or the E-rate program, please contact Regina Brown, Attorney-Advisor, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-0792 or via email: Regina.Brown@fcc.gov.

- FCC -

For more news and information about the FCC please visit: www.fcc.gov


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