Broadening Broadband Access

Online access is creating more educational opportunities and improving student performance, but is not reaching its potential because too many people lack broadband connectivity in their homes, the U.S. Distance Learning Association says.

In a white paper, association Executive Director John G. Flores says online access enables students to overcome barriers to educational achievement, but those in less-affluent areas, especially rural communities, don’t have adequate Internet connections.

The association recommends four steps to bolster the effectiveness of online education:

•Educators should work to develop online-based curriculum and digital content to support it.

•Policymakers should update accreditation rules, teacher licensing requirements and other regulations that may undermine the effectiveness of online access to educational content.

•Government leaders should intensify their efforts to provide broadband connectivity to every American.

•Technology policymakers should consider establishing a broadband support fund that could support the availability of broadband in high-cost areas.

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