Why aren’t schools connected?

school overhead projector

Wesley Fryer | Flickr via Creative Commons

Ed-tech is a blazing hot startup sector but is there an infrastructure and user culture to take advantage of it? SlashDot has an interesting and surprisingly troll-free discussion on the subject.

But there’s a few big stumbling blocks in this discussion that deserve some consideration:

• Extrapolating our own dated personal experience (10, 20 or 30 years post-graduation) or our own children’s schools to the broader scope of public education across the nation. The use of technology in public education is not consistent across states, regions or localities.

• The intersection of federal education mandates with outdated funding mechanisms and centralized local decision-making has left public school infrastructure in tatters.

• The hallmark of the U.S. public education system of free, compulsory schooling for every child also creates special challenges few for-profit businesses ever have to grapple with: poverty, intractable social issues, multicultural demands, local politics, declining community involvement, etc., that affect school funding priorities.

So what’s your take? Are schools using technology in smart ways? Could they be better connected? Is the ed-tech community delivering truly what it’s customers need? What can the Colorado startup and technology communities do to bring Internet infrastructure to the fore of community conversations about school funding priorities?