blueprint for big broadband and educause learning initiative 2008

i’m a big fan of educause, an american non-profit with a mission to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

last week they released the paper a blueprint for big broadband which charges their federal government with the task to load every household and institution with a high-capacity broadband connection.

this isn’t unheard of in other countries around the world. here in canada for example three programs have been set up by the canadian federal government to address broadband-deficient areas, which are:

  • the broadband for rural and northern development program
  • the canada strategic infrastructure fund
  • the national satellite initiative

these have been formed within the last 6yrs and many of which include efforts focussed on areas where inuit and first nations are more prevalent as well as rural areas where broadband is harder to come by or even non-existant.

and the grand point of it all? broadband opens up the world of possibility for education. the young and the old can have a better chance at developing life skills and personal or professional development when they have access to the tools their fellow citizens in well-wired areas of the country have already.

it’s a $32billion proposal that would span 4yrs, and it will be interesting to see what comes of this report and if the american government will take action.

the most recent significant educause event was the educause learning initiative 2008 (eliannual08):
connecting and reflecting: preparing learners for life 2.0
, held last week in san antonio.

from the conference details:

The conference will demonstrate:

  • Ways to help students connect with information, faculty, each other, and professional communities in authentic learning environments.
  • The importance of reflecting—on learning and its application to real-world problems, professional goals, skill development, and values.

Education for Life 2.0 is not education as usual. Join us at the 2008 EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Annual Meeting, “Connecting and Reflecting: Preparing Learners for Life 2.0,” to explore educational approaches that may better prepare students for a world of exponential change.

the educause connect blog eliannual08 was set up for live blogging, podcasts, and media sharing. i’m very curious to see what came of that confrence as well.

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