High speed Internet a necessity among students in public schools

In Opinion

Everybody is connected to the Internet in some way, shape or form.

Public schools across the nation have adopted the Internet into their curriculum and now students are able to connect with their teachers and peers, not only inside the classroom but in their own bedroom as well.

New advancements in online technology have given way to web-based learning management systems, document storage and even plagiarism checkers.

The Internet used to be a luxury saved only for select public schools, but now, especially on university campuses, it is a necessity that many students need to succeed in school.

President Barack Obama announced in February the Federal Communications Commission will be dedicating $2 billion to help bring computers and technological advancements to school campuses nationwide, according to the Washington Post.

The initiative, called ConnectEd, is not only a step in the right direction, it is a necessary step that must be taken in order to ensure students around the country are able to to reach their full potential in school.

All over America, students are using high speed Internet access at home to do research, to download assignments and to turn in their homework. Websites like Blackboard and Canvas allow students to check their status in class, their grades and even the latest news posted by their professors.

Emma Cheng, 21, a business administration major at UC Riverside, said she uses the Internet daily, at home and at school.

“At our school, it’s called iLearn,” Cheng said. “It’s a site that every student goes to and it has all their classes listed and its also just a really easy way for professors to upload their study guides, course documents, stuff like that.”

These online learning management systems on campus are not only helpful to students but also professors as well. With today’s modern technology, professors can save time and energy by employing many online based web services to do some of the work for them.

Sites like Turnitin have made checking student papers for plagiarism, which used to take hours of meticulous fact checking, a task that only takes a couple clicks. Thanks to websites like Turnitin, plagiarized submissions in California have dropped by 30.8 percent.

The best part is students don’t even have to go to class to turn in their assignments, they can send them right from their home.

A study conducted by Turnitin also showed that over five years, universities with populations of more than 10,000 will save professors over 300,000 hours of grading.

While there may be opposing arguments stating that one can do all this without the use of the Internet, the speed and efficiency at which the Internet allows things to get done cannot be contested.

The technology giant Google has taken a large step forward in allowing students to collaborate with each other through their variety of online “cloud” based services.

Students can access Google Drive and create documents, presentations and spreadsheets that can be edited in real time with critiques and comments displayed right on the document itself. This allows students to polish their paper without having any downtime, waiting for the editing process.

Students with special needs also benefit from Google’s web-based applications.

Education News, a website that offers the latest in K-12 educational news, said special ed teachers looking to make communication with their students easier and more effective can turn to Google to offer many services that do exactly that. Google Voice is one of those services. Professors can turn their speech into text and reach out to hearing-impaired students in ways they could never before.

Having high-speed Internet access in public schools nationwide is no longer a luxury that should be reserved for only some public schools, it is a necessity to have in order to ensure that students get the education they need to succeed in their curriculum.

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