Wireless technology for Miami-Dade students

By Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools
Published On: Jan 26 2012 03:18:20 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 27 2012 10:53:50 AM EST
MIAMI -

Various national studies have proven that the daily use of technology in the classroom is important because technology provides students with the opportunity to become well-versed on selected topics while providing them instant access to new information that would otherwise be very difficult to locate. Technology also empowers students with skills that will be useful upon graduation, in their pursuit of their college studies and eventual entry into the competitive job market. Those students who strive more to learn and use new technology are more likely to be successful.

Technology is part of the blueprint through which we reach the desired information, and its use helps the educator and strengthens the student’s academic foundation. A student’s laptop computer becomes the magic carpet that will take the student through various paths to gain the needed knowledge to complete their assigned tasks.

The Miami-Dade County school district has been exploring a greater use of technology in the classroom in order to broaden the student’s horizon and enable them to meet the academic and professional challenges facing them after graduation from high school. As a result of the economic hardships we are facing as a school district, we are presently unable to allocate more funds to update and install new technology in our schools. We need to enlist the financial support of institutions and private entities to contribute to this effort. We are very fortunate to have organizations like the Knight Foundation, which donates computers to students selected by the school district.

There is also the Foundation for New Education Initiatives Inc., a non-profit that has launched a fundraising campaign to help secure federal dollars available through the Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) E-RATE. The FCC E-Rate has been extremely useful in financing improvements in wireless technology and recently has announced that for every $10 raised by M-DCPS, the federal government will match it with $100 donation to the initiative. Its mission consists of securing additional funds to improve student achievement through innovation and community participation. To improve wireless connection at every one of Miami-Dade County’s schools would involve spending $200,000 at each school. In order to meet the district’s goal that all schools be connected by Wi-Fi for the 2012-2013 school year, we are working to raise $7 million locally in order to generate the $70 million needed to ensure the success of the initiative.

Needless to say, the opportunity to receive a major injection of federal funds to be used specifically for updating technology in our schools will improve the student’s learning environment at the same time that it will stimulate job creation in our community, especially in the installation and maintenance of digital upgrades in our facilities. Those interested in contributing to the technological environment of our schools, may do so by visiting the following website: helpdadeschools.com .

We must seize this opportunity of investing in our youth so that they can have access to valuable information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By making your contribution today, you are making an investment in the future of our students.

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