News Feature | February 7, 2014

Education IT News For VARs — February 7, 2014

By Amy Taylor, contributing writer

Technology-Enhanced University Education: How IT Solutions Providers Can Make Their Mark

Education received big news this week: $2 billion from the FCC for high speed Internet, $750 million from major corporations to help students connect to the Internet at school and at home, and Harvard is launching Project Lever for MOOC to help students combat the isolation of online learning.

Schools Will Receive Additional $2 Billion For High Speed Internet

Nextgov said that U.S. schools and libraries will get a $2 billion dollar infusion from the Federal Communications Commission for high-speed Internet access through the agency’s E-Rate program. The plan is part of an initiative to connect 99 percent of U.S. schools to high-speed Internet within the next five years.

President Praises The Support Of K-12 Education By Major Corporations

Education Week reports that President Obama announced Thursday that more than $750 million will be contributed by major corporations to help K-12 students across the country connect to the Internet in school and at home, and to provide devices, software, and content, as well as teacher training. The contributing companies include Apple, Microsoft, AT&T, Sprint, and Autodesk.

Harvard Takes On Isolation Problems Of MOOCs

Bloomsburg Businessweek highlights a new initiative led by Harvard University to combat the isolation of online learning by utilizing a new program, Project Lever. Integrating Project Lever into the online learning course will allow students to collaborate with classmates whose skills complement their own.  Harvard hopes that MOOCs will see more participation and address the huge attrition rate by incorporating this team-based learning.

Education IT Talking Points

Red Orbit reported on a new study by the University of Oregon that claims a dedicated team that makes decisions based on data is crucial for sustaining a lasting framework in schools. The cited framework is designed to prevent and reduce behavioral problems in the nation’s schools. An effective school-based team that relies on data for decision making was even more critical to sustainability than principal support.

InformationWeek reports that the Department of Education has opened a financial aid portal. The department’s online Financial Aid Toolkit organizes information about college financing options for students, parents, and advisors, bringing a few more resources to the cost of postsecondary education.

In “Commentary: On the way to kindergarten,USA Today profiled SchoolMint (, an education technology company that enables parents to enroll students online via the web, bypassing the pen and paper routine.