19.08.2014

WiFi in Schools? The US is betting on it…

WiFi in Schools? The US is betting on it…

Image | Lucélia Ribeiro

The internet is an essential tool to get your hands on, so much so that we’ve got used to having 3G at all times and places as a bare minimum. The problem is that signal doesn’t always reach everywhere, and there’s buildings in which we spend quite a lot of time where we’d love to be able to use a WiFi connection in order to be able to use the networks in a relaxed manner.

We already discussed the importance of incorporating WiFi in hospitals, as much for employees as for patients.Although it’s evident that patients and their families would also be grateful for access to some kind of network, even if it was separated from the previous one.

But hospitals aren’t the only public buildings which should incorporate WiFi in their infrastructures. Schools should also do so, and in the United States this will soon be reality, as federal funds have been set aside in order to help pay for WiFi networks in schools.

The Federal Communications Commision has created a 2 billion dollar fund to deploy wireless networks in schools during the next two years. With this money, it’s hoped that 10 million children will be connected, a reality which wouldn’t be possible any other way.

WiFi in Schools? The US is betting on it…

Image | tuchodi

In any case there’s voices, above all those of teachers’ unions, who argue that this amount isn’t enough and that schools’ demands for increased funding in order to get connected doesn’t stop growing. And the fact that teachers can maintain WiFi in schools is a basic element in terms of competitivity.

On the other hand, there are those who argue that the radiation emited by WiFi networks are harmful, above all for little ones, and that for this reason this type of network shouldn’t be implemented in schools. In any case, there’s numerous analyses which demonstrate that there’s no risk, such as this study created by the Ministry of Health of New Zealand, which states that exposure to WiFi networks is far smaller than exposure to mobile networks.

The majority of countries whose schools are found in the first places of worldwide rankings are implementing WiFi in schools, or have already done so, and the reason is as simple as pointing out that access to the internet opens the doors to knowledge, and even more so if this access is guided by teachers.

The mSchools mSchools programme is a multi-faceted mEducation initiative by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, in collaboration with The Generalitat of Catalonia, Barcelona City Hall and GSMA.

Launched in 2013, mSchools supports students and teachers effectively integrating mobile technologies into the classroom. Mobile enables access to up-to-date materials, improves collaboration and strengthens learner engagement, opening up new ways of teaching and learning that improve achievement and employability.

The mSchools programme brings together private and public institutions to help students build important new skills and prepare them for today’s digital world.

Mobile World Capital presents a global vision that effectively integrates mobile technologies into the fabric of the industries transforming our lives. Committed to expanding the mobile experience throughout Barcelona, Catalonia and Spain with strong support of the public and private sector.

Mobile World Capital is leading mobile transformation through commitments in Competence Centres, local Industry Development, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation programmes.

MWCapital offers an open platform and exhibition showroom where citizens can understand and experience how mobile is enhancing our lives: The Mobile World Centre, located in the heart of Barcelona on Plaza Catalunya.

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