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Obama pushes to upgrade internet in all U.S. schools in five years


08:08, June 07, 2013

WASHINGTON, June 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday unveiled a plan to upgrade internet in U.S. schools nationwide, as an effort to prepare students for the digital age.

Obama unveiled his initiative, called "ConnectED" in a tour to a middle school in Mooresville, the U.S. state of North Carolina.

"And in an age when the world's information is a just click away, it demands that we bring our schools and libraries into the 21st century. We can't be stuck in the 19th century when we're living in a 21st century economy," the president told the audience.

The initiative is to connect 99 percent of students nationwide to the internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within 5 years. Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission to leverage its existing program and also directed the federal government to make better use of existing funds to get Internet connectivity and educational technology into classrooms.

"Today, we're going to take a new step to make sure that virtually every child in America's classrooms has access to the fastest Internet and the most cutting-edge learning tools. And that step will better prepare our children for the jobs and challenges of the future and it will provide them a surer path into the middle class," said Obama.

According to the White House, fewer than 20 percent of educators in the country said their school's Internet connection meets their teaching needs.

In addition to upgrading internet, ConnectED will also expand investment in training and supporting teachers in using education technology tools to improve student learning. The initiative will also try to connect the private sector in innovation and support digital learning.

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