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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Really student-centric

I keep hearing people say "student-centered" when talking about E-Rate reform.  But they generally aren't really focusing on the student.  Here's how we could actually focus on the student.

When considering the eligibility of a service, look at how often the service is used by students (or library patrons).  Do districts ever give pagers to students?  No? Pagers are ineligible.  What percentage of cell phones are given to students/library patrons? 1%?  Toss cell phones.  What percentage of phone calls are made by students/patrons? 2%?  Toss voice out of the program.  Do you have student/patron email accounts on your email server?  No?  Then your server's not eligible.  Is your Website designed for students to use, or is it more for parents/staff/community members?

The same goes for locations.  Office buildings should be tossed out.  NIFs like field houses should stay in, since they're used mostly by students.

I don't want to propose cost-allocation based on percentage of student use, but as the FCC considers what to toss out of the program (or demote to a lower Priority), I think they should consider how much of the service is used by students.


  1. I agree, although I am seeing a great interest in "Video Conferencing" for distance learning purposes. That's good for the students, right? =)

  2. Julio: Students do use videoconferencing, so from that standpoint it should stay in the program. But only the transport of voice, video and data is eligible, and video is generally transported over IP, so there isn't much eligible in the video realm.

    1. Well, that is a bit disappointing.