Edtech Solutions
Network Summit

E-Rate, Homework Gap and Edtech Policy: Everything You Need to Know

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Listen and learn : Panel

Dr. Sheryl Abshire  
Jon Bernstein  
John Harrington  

Join seasoned E-Rate and ed tech-policy gurus to learn how E-Rate, homework gap, ESSA funding and cybersecurity affect you, your district, school or company. This interactive session will empower attendees with the knowledge to properly plan for federal policy developments and advocate for change.

Audience: Technology coordinators/facilitators, Chief technology officers/superintendents/school board members, Principals/head teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Topic: Educational policy
ISTE Standards: For Education Leaders:
Equity and Citizenship Advocate
  • Ensure all students have access to the technology and connectivity necessary to participate in authentic and engaging learning opportunities.
Systems Designer
  • Ensure that resources for supporting the effective use of technology for learning are sufficient and scalable to meet future demand.
For Educators:
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The central aim of this presentation is to provide participants with a detailed overview of the status of key federal policy and funding programs relevant to school and home connectivity, cybersecurity, and professional learning focused on online instruction. By providing participants with a solid foundation of policy knowledge through expert presentations and the opportunity to ask questions, we endeavor to arm them with the knowledge necessary to advocate locally and nationally for improved edtech policies and increased edtech funding.
We plan to cover the following key topics/objectives:
*Detailed overview of the E-Rate Program, including the updated Category 2 budget system
*Discuss the Efforts to Address the Homework Gap
*Discuss Cybersecurity Issues and Possible Solutions
*Discuss Funding Opportunities for Professional Learning in Online Instruction


This is a panel discussion with a moderator. The outline is as follows:
Opening remarks (“state of the state”) intro from each presenter (3-5 minute per presenter)
Panel discussions on each of the following topic
*Homework Gap
*Funding for professional development supporting online learning
Each panel topic will include key data points, followed by expert discussion and Q&A from audience members.

Supporting research

Homework Gap:
Chandra, S., Chang, A., Day, L., Fazlullah, A., Liu, J., et al. (2020). Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning. Common Sense Media and Boston Consulting Group.
Alliance for Excellent Education, National Indian Education Association, National Urban League, and UnidosUS. (2020). Students of Color Caught in the Homework Gap. Author.
Klein, Alyson. (2020) Cyber Attacks on Schools Tripled in 2019, Report Finds.
Newman, Lily Hay. (2020) Schools Already Struggled With Cybersecurity. Then Came Covid-19.
E-rate, et al:
Funds for Learning. (2020) E-rate Trends Report.
Key stats:
*98% of E-rate applicants desire support for cybersecurity (pg20)
*95% of E-rate applicants describe the E-rate funding process as vital to their school district’s Internet needs. (pg15)
*90% of E-rate applicants describe insufficient home Internet access (“homework gap”) as a significant issue in their community.

More [+]


Dr. Sheryl Abshire, Formerly with Calcasieu Parish Sch Bd
ISTE Certified Educator
Jon Bernstein, Bernstein Strategy Group
John Harrington, Funds For Learning

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