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Blog // Connect Ohio

Raise your hand if you used a floppy disk in school

By Brad Ingles

As a recent college graduate, I never stopped to think about how quickly technology changes in our schools. I remember learning in elementary school how to save assignments onto a floppy disk then quickly switching to CDs and USBs. It’s funny to think that students today click the floppy disk icon on Microsoft Word to save a document, but have probably never used one in real life. With new technology continually invented and old equipment quickly becoming obsolete, how does this affect education?

I am a proud alumnus of the Olentangy Local School District that, according to State Impact, spent $153,890,170 on their students from 2010-2011. That means in a school district of 16,259 students at that time, the average student was receiving $9,465 worth of education investments in a year. By October 2014, the Olentangy Local School District reported to have reached a student enrollment of 18,769 students.

In 2013, the U.S. government spent $13 billion on technology in schools. Despite the significant amount of money being spent, the year prior the U.S. ranked 17th in early education among developed countries around the world. Though this number may sound disappointing, it is important to note that there are several factors beyond technology spending to consider.

I have had the benefit of working with Connect Ohio for almost a year now and it has allowed me to see first-hand the progress that has been made, as well as the work that remains for widespread broadband and technology access, adoption, and use throughout Ohio. According to Connect Ohio’s research, home broadband adoption among households with children increased four percentage points from 76% to 80% during 2010-2013 and remained above the statewide residential broadband adoption rate each year.  Despite this progress, we know there’s much more to be done. In the coming months Connect Ohio will be releasing its next whitepaper evaluating broadband as an education tool, both for school-age children and adults. We look forward to sharing the results with you at that time – and we’ll make them easily accessible on our website – so there’s no need to purchase a floppy disk!



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