New Report Shows How Broadband Provides Educational Opportunities To Many Tennesseans

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In conjunction with Connected Tennessee’s participation at the East Tennessee Educational Technology Association’s regional meeting, Connected Tennessee on Thursday released Broadband Provides Educational Opportunities to Many Tennesseans, showing online learning is as essential in K-12 as it is in higher education, and can boost the growth of the Tennessee workforce as more degrees and certificates become available online.

“This new report detailing the impacts of broadband on educational opportunities in Tennessee couldn’t come at a more appropriate time,” said Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns. “Cutting-edge digital learning tools and the implementation of online testing required by the Common Core standards are only the tip of the iceberg. The integration of 1-to-1 technology in the classroom and the ability for students to connect to the Internet at home will completely transform our education environment in the coming years. States that leverage these innovations to improve student achievement will reap the benefits of a stronger workforce and better job opportunities. By working together, we can ensure that Tennessee is a leader moving forward into this era of technology-in-education."

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Approximately 272,000 adults, or 13% of those who use a cell phone to access the Internet, conduct online education through these devices.
  • Nearly one-half of minority Internet users in Tennessee (45%) go online for e-Learning, significantly higher than among their Caucasian counterparts.
  • Age and educational attainment are highly correlated with the use of online education applications in Tennessee.
  • More than one-half of parents (55%) report that their children use their home Internet service for schoolwork and 60% say that their children use the Internet at their schools.
  • More than 971,000 Tennessee adults have access to both home and mobile broadband to take classes online or conduct research for schoolwork.
  • Almost two out of five rural Internet users in Tennessee (39%) take online classes or conduct research for schoolwork.

“It doesn’t surprise me that minority adults are significantly more likely to go online for e-Learning than their Caucasian counterparts or that there is a correlation between educational attainment and conducting digital learning as the report suggests,” said Dr. Kecia Ray, executive director of Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Martin Professional Development Center, and president-elect of the International Society for Technology in Education. “Our minority population shoulders a tremendous burden that forces them to choose between family, employment, and their education. Online learning is often the only way to obtain a high school or college education and still be able to provide for their families. Additionally, in most instances, those with higher education credentials are more likely to have Internet and personal devices in their home.”

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