Archived Information

Recommendation - 4.4

All learners will have engaging and empowering learning experiences both in and outside of school that prepare them to be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society.

To meet this goal, we recommend the following action:

4.4 Recommendation: Build state and local education agency capacity for evolving an infrastructure for learning.

Building an infrastructure for learning is a far-reaching project that will demand concerted and coordinated effort. To start, districts and schools should begin a transition to the next generation of computing system architectures. They also should consider moving their technology systems and services from in-house datacenters to professionally managed datacenters in the cloud for greater efficiency and flexibility. To help states and districts make these transitions cost effectively and to leverage the scarce human talent and expertise that will be required, the Office of Educational Technology should support a clearinghouse that matches expert advice and services with those who need them.

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Yes, significant savings could be realized by removing all of the support costs for in-district datacenters, but unless universal access to the Internet with large increases in bandwidth is realized, this recommendation would be unwise to implement. Having all of the learning in a school-district come to a screeching halt due to any number of factors (bandwidth hogging video-streams, datacenter crashes, transmission line interference, etc.) is a serious non-starter for this recommendation. As an educator who teaches in a computer lab, I can attest to how awful it can be when the Internet connection “goes out”. At least connections to our own servers are still in place, so much work can still be done.