The School Connectivity Initiative was the culmination of several years of vision surrounding the 21st century classroom and developing a North Carolina workforce poised to meet the challenge of a global economy. In 2006, the e-NC Authority presented their “Developing Regional Networks” report to the General Assembly recommending the expansion of the North Carolina Research Education Network (NCREN) to the K-12 community. As a result of the 2006 session, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1741 allocating $6M non-recurring to expand the number of schools with broadband, selectively build out networks to rural and under-performing schools, and develop a scalable model for statewide implementation. Since the funding is non-recurring, projects were selected that have the greatest impact on student achievement and highlight practices that will serve as the model for a sustained and funded program.
The program centered around four essential elements: 1) 21st century curriculum, instruction, assessments, and accountability; 2) Technology tools in the classroom; 3) Personnel and professional development; and 4) Connectivity, networks and accountability.
Education Week: What to Do for Families With Internet Access Too Slow for Remote Learning
Ray Zeisz, Friday Institute Director of the Technology Infrastructure Lab, has been working since before the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on a survey that will help the state of North Carolina get a better picture of its broadband access landscape.
Let’s Get Digital
The Friday Institute's longtime commitment to digital learning helped change North Carolina's education landscape.