CPS took a big leap into the future to make sure that every child in every classroom can have the Internet at their fingertips – which means that CPS is now a district where no child will be left offline.
Thanks to $38 million in federal grants – an investment secured for us by Mayor Rahm Emanuel – every CPS classroom will be wired for modern, high-speed Wi-Fi by 2016, opening up a world of online possibilities for our children, educators and school communities.
For our students, this will mean a new world of opportunities for online learning, research, and virtual field trips, which could take them across the city or across the world. Rather than just reading about it, students in a Biology class could use this technology to witness live surgery. And students in a History class could connect with youth on the other side of the world, using class time to experience, not just be told about, other languages and cultures. Our students will have the tools to succeed, even if the jobs they’ll one day hold don’t even exist yet.
For our teachers, this investment means increased access to the latest web-based programs in Reading, Math, and personalized learning. It also transforms our schools into technology hubs where parents can access the Internet to help support their children’s learning.
Most exciting of all, this funding will allow us to offer Computer Science courses in all of our high schools by next fall. This was slated to become a graduation requirement by 2017, but thanks to this grant, we now have the bandwidth to accelerate that timeline by an entire year, supporting more than 100,000 high school students as they develop the digital skills they’ll need to compete in a global, 21st-Century economy.