Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is seeking to provide free wireless broadband internet service to the homes of students and staff members, starting with a pilot system covering about five square miles that is scheduled to be operational by August 2007. If successful, the Milwaukee initiative would become one of the first such projects in the United States to bring high-speed broadband service to families and educators via a WiMAX system.I think this is another sign of how quickly things are changing and how we need to reevaluate our curriculum, goals and the skills our students need based on the ubiquity of information that is - and will be - available to our students. We're not that far away from low cost (or free) wireless broaband access in any relatively populated area (i.e., the entire Front Range, but maybe not everywhere in the mountains for a while), coupled with very capable, very affordable laptops with long battery life. I think this has profound implications for our students - both in terms of their economic opportunities in the future (think flat world), and in terms of how they interact with information and the world at large.
We need to be having conversations not only among our group or the staff as a whole, but with our students and our community about this. I think the only way to navigate and survive in a rapidly changing world is to have an ongoing conversation with all of our stakeholders about what this means for education and employment (and government and . . .)