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States invest in datacasting to bridge the K-12 digital divide

Education Dive |

The tech would allow students to receive instructional content in remote areas without internet and comes encrypted for data security. Datacasting, or data broadcasting, has been used for years in the public safety sector, helping first responders prepare for natural disasters, search and rescue missions and school safety operations. Now, the concept is being repurposed to provide rural students who don’t have reliable access to the internet with remote learning opportunities.

The technology, which bypasses the need for a cellular network or internet service, uses television broadcast signals to distribute information to any device that is wireless enabled, like a smartphone, tablet or Chromebook.

“What datacasting is doing is creating a network, but it’s not the same thing as the internet,” said Stephanie Frazier, vice president of education at SCETV, South Carolina’s education television network. “Anything that you can put in a learning management system or send via email, you can send via datacast using [a broadcast signal].”