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On Thursday, the FCC updated its blog to address some of the ongoing chatter about a recent study that found the broadband and home computers have a negative impact on the academic performance of low-income students.

I don't want to make too much of it -- the FCC updates its blog pretty regularly. It wasn't as though the agency felt it had to make some sort of formal public statement on broadband's contribution to the "digital divide." But still -- I found it interesting that the North Carolina study prompted a response. And it was good to see the FCC reiterate its support for helping spread technology access and education.

The FCC says it's under no illusion that improving education is as simple as piping broadband into the classroom and equipping kids with laptops. "Computers and broadband access cannot replace parents, teachers and broader social support as critical inputs into student achievement. Laptops in the home are not a silver bullet--digital literacy training for parents and teachers, appropriate content for online learning systems, and broader community digital literacy efforts are necessary to ensure children benefit from technology." The FCC post, "Connecting Kids to the Benefits of Broadband," points to recommendations in the National Broadband Plan to help create "holistic broadband adoption and use programs" and promote communities' digital literacy.

Is the FCC doing more than just blogging about broadband? Here's a nice graphic to keep track of the government's progress on the National Broadband Plan.

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Audrey Watters


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