A District’s Critical Infrastructure Needs

1-5-2016 2-30-03 PM

Preparing students to be successful for the future requires a robust and flexible learning infrastructure capable of supporting new types of engagement and providing access to the technology tools that allow students to create, design, and explore. There are many essential components of a district infrastructure, representing key cross-selling opportunities for resellers. The 2016 National Education Technology Plan identified several critical components of a district’s infrastructure, including:

Ubiquitous connectivity. Reliable connectivity is foundational to creating an effective learning environment. Students and teachers need persistent access to high-speed internet in-and-out of school to engage, connect, and leverage high-quality learning resources. The modernization of the E-rate program in 2014 provided billions of additional dollars to help districts improve the speed and access to internet, but there is still a lot of work left to be done to meet Obama’s ConnectEd Initiative by 2018.

Powerful learning devices. Access to mobile devices that connect learners and educators to the vast resources of the internet and facilitate communication and collaboration is critical in today’s classroom. Selecting appropriate devices depends largely on the age of the students, their individual learning needs, and the types of learning activities that will be ongoing in the classroom.

High-quality digital learning content. A variety of digital learning content, tools, and resources that can be used to design and deliver engaging and relevant learning experiences is essential. This can include learning games, online lectures, openly licensed resources, and more.

Device and Network Management. Many schools underestimate the importance of ongoing monitoring, management, and maintenance of network infrastructure. Key elements of an infrastructure plan should include the following:

  • Network management and monitoring
  • Maintenance and upgrades of devices and equipment
  • Estimates of future demand and network capacity planning
  • Licensing fees for digital learning content
  • Security filtering
  • Network redundancy

Helping a district build a robust infrastructure for learning begins with an understanding of the goals and desired outcomes that support engaging and empowering learning experiences. When based on learning goals, technology infrastructure decisions become clearer, making it easier for resellers to take advantage of cross-selling opportunities.

Source: National Education Technology Plan – U.S. Department of Education and the Office of Educational Technology

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