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posted: 12/4/2013 2:14 PM

Broadband in schools gets boost from tech gurus

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  • Josie Barton, 7, left, records audio into an iPad for an iMovie project with classmate Marin Peale, 7, in their multi-grade first and second grade class at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, Va.

      Josie Barton, 7, left, records audio into an iPad for an iMovie project with classmate Marin Peale, 7, in their multi-grade first and second grade class at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, Va.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The effort to get high-speed broadband in every school is getting a boost from the philanthropy of two technology gurus -- Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates.

Zuckerberg's Startup: Education and Gates' foundation have contributed a combined $9 million to the nonprofit EducationSuperHighway. The San Francisco-based nonprofit is working to improve connectivity in schools.

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Nearly every school has Internet access, but for many that doesn't include classrooms or the connections are super slow. That makes it difficult to videoconference scientists with students or to have digital learning programs on tablets such as iPads.

President Barack Obama's goal is to have 99 percent of students connected to superfast Internet within five years. The Federal Communications Commission is weighing changes to a program to increase connectivity in schools.

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