Connect Michigan Study: Broadband In School Boosts Test Scores

LANSING — Broadband and e-learning applications expand educators’ instructional capabilities and boost students’ research and interactive opportunities — as well as their test scores.

That’s according to a new study by Connect Michigan, which took a look at broadband availability and usage across the state.

In particular, this study looks at the correlation between broadband availability and school achievement and examines how Michiganders of all walks of life are accessing e-learning opportunities.

“In this high-tech age of digital delivery, online interaction is a critical function for educational attainment and economic opportunity,” said Eric Frederick, program manager for Connect Michigan. “Increased broadband access, adoption, and use provides the platform for long-term sustainability in Michigan communities.”

Some key findings from the report include the following:
* As the school district’s average broadband availability increased, so do math and reading proficiency scores for students in grades 3 through 8. In addition, school districts with higher average broadband availability have a greater share of students who meet ACT college readiness benchmarks.
* Approximately 2.4 million Michigan adult Internet users are e-Learners, meaning that they take online classes or use the Internet to conduct research for schoolwork.
* When households with broadband were asked which factors contributed to their decision to subscribe, more than one in seven (15 percent, representing approximately 714,000 adult Michigan broadband subscribers) reported that the main reason for subscribing was that someone in their home needed broadband for school.
* Among Michigan adults who subscribe to mobile broadband service on their cell phones, 14 percent (representing nearly 300,000 Michiganders) say they use their cell phone to access online classes or conduct research for schoolwork.
* Nearly one-half of adult Michigan Internet users who have taken some college courses (49 percent) pursue further education online, compared to 29 percent of Internet users with a high school diploma or less.

Visit www.connectmi.org/education  to further explore the intersection of technology and education.

As the designated entity for broadband mapping and planning in the state of Michigan, Connect Michigan is a public-private partnership between the Michigan Public Service Commission and Connected Nation to work with local governments, businesses, and citizens in the goal of increasing broadband service in the state’s underserved areas.

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