frequently asked questions
Why are we testing the Internet access in Arizona's K-12 schools?
We believe in the transformative potential of digital learning to improve outcomes for our students by personalizing learning and reducing administrative burden on teachers. To take full advantage of online tools we must be sure that every school has a learning-ready high speed Internet connection.
By testing Internet speeds at schools during Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month we will know the actual available bandwidth in our classrooms and where we need to upgrade Internet access for digital learning. We will use this information to better inform decision makers about existing Internet access for learning and help plan for the future.
Aren’t all of our schools already connected to the Internet?
Thanks to the Federal Communication Commission’s E-Rate program, which provides $2-3 billion per year to schools for Internet access, infrastructure and telecommunications services, 99% of schools across America have been connected to the Internet since 2003. Unfortunately, simply being connected to the Internet is no longer enough to make use of the best (and often free) online learning tools. The typical school in America has the same amount of Internet access as the typical home – with 100 times more users. Capacity, not access, is what prevents our schools from using digital learning to improve student outcomes.
How much Internet access does a school need?
The U.S. Department of Education, the Federal Communications Commission, the State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and many other experts recommend that we have at least 100 Mbps of capacity per 1,000 students or faculty today growing to 1Gbps / 1,000 students over the next 5 years. Our schools need this much access in order to meet the growing bandwidth requirements of multimedia, video based, and interactive content . As teachers and students adopt these tools, there is unprecedented strain on schools’ networks and Internet access. 100 Mbps+ infrastructure will allow schools to embrace digital learning tools to personalize education, expand learning beyond the classroom and shrink effective class sizes.
How does the Arizona SchoolSpeedTest work?
EducationSuperHighway has developed a online application that will allow any person on a school network to easily test the speed of their school's Internet connection in about a minute.
To test your school's speed, visit http://partners.schoolspeedtest.org/arizona.html, enter the name of your school, and hit START TEST. The test will measure upload speed, download speed, data on whether specific web sites are being filtered, and the operating system and browser of the device being used to take the test. Full technical details of how the SchoolSpeedTest works are available HERE.
How should we administer the test in our school?
Each K-12 school in Arizona should take the test at least 10 times during the month from March 10-May 23. It is also important to run the test at different times of the day and on different days of the week throughout the month. The more tests we receive the more accurate our data about schools will be, and the more useful for making the case for an internet upgrade in our public schools.
What do districts need to do to ensure Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month is a success?
District Administrators and technology personnel can ensure the success of Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month by taking three actions:
- Ensure that www.SchoolSpeedTest.org is whitelisted in your content filter
- Place the SchoolSpeedTest web button on your district web site in a location most likely to be seen by school personnel
- Inform the principals and technology coordinators in your district about Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month and follow up with them to ensure their participation.
How do we learn more about Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month?
The Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology Office, the Governor's Office of Education Innovation and EducationSuperHighway will be conducting a webinar session during the first week of March to answer any questions that district and school administrators and technology personnel may have. Please refer to the e-mail you received from the Arizona Department of Education regarding the specific dates and times of these sessions.
Who will have access to the data collected during Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month?
Each individual who runs the SchoolSpeedTest will be provided with their own results when they run the test. Once Arizona SchoolSpeedTest Month is over, EducationSuperHighway will provide district and state administrators with access to all of the data collected for their schools. The data will be included in the National SchoolSpeedTest database to make the case for an upgrade for America's schools at the federal level. Aggregate statistics from the national database will be released to the general public in order to raise awareness of the need to upgrade our school’s Internet access as a prerequisite for digital learning. Individual school test results will not be made available to the public.
Why do my results differ from other speed tests?
The SchoolSpeedTest measures the available bandwidth to a device connected to a school's network. Available bandwidth is defined as your maximum bandwidth minus unavailable bandwidth (i.e. bandwidth that is being used by other devices or applications). This is includes both Internet and non-Internet traffic on your network as well as variations in the bandwidth being supplied by your ISP and background congestion on the Internet itself. Most other speed tests measure your theoretical maximum bandwidth. Your theoretical bandwidth is the measurement of the maximum amount of bandwidth to your door provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Learn More
Who is EducationSuperHighway?
EducationSuperHighway is a 501c(3) non-profit organization committed to upgrading every public school in the United States to a robust learning-ready (100 Mbps+) internet connection, so students and educators can leverage the transformative power of online learning. By providing schools with actionable data, strategic advocacy, technical support, and assistance in upgrading to 100 Mbps infrastructure, EducationSuperHighway is finding solutions to close the K-12 Digital Divide.