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Friday, February 06, 2015


I started reading Commissioner Rosenworcel's speech at the Texas Computer Education Association, and my first interrobang was "Nintendo 64?!"  It seems wrong for a couple of reasons.

First, OK, it came out in 1996, but it wasn't even released in Japan when the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed.  It was only available in the U.S. in September 1996.  So to say "in 1996, a device meant a Nintendo 64" seems misleading.  For most of the year, it meant Nintendo SNES or GameBoy.  Or PlayStation.

But what does a game system have to do with the E-Rate?  OK, the Nintendo 64 was a device, but not a device capable of connecting to the Internet.  I think Nintendo didn't have an Internet-capable device until the DS in 2004.

What, you thought I was going to provide some real information?  Well, OK, check this out.

I'm fine with the Commissioner's call for the Lifeline program to support home broadband.  But I recently read an interesting study on what Commissioner Rosenworcel calls "the Homework Gap."  The conclusion: "...the introduction of home computer technology is associated with modest but statistically significant and persistent negative impacts on student math and reading test scores. Further evidence suggests that providing universal access to home computers and high‐speed internet access would broaden, rather than narrow, math and reading achievement gaps."

I did not see that coming.

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