Connect Ohio Offers Broadband For Education

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The Internet is playing a big role in education, but one in three Appalachian Ohio families doesn't have Internet access.

A report recently issued by the group Connect Ohio outlines the benefit of the Internet on education, citing statistical studies that show Internet connectivity is increasingly the means by which individuals, especially young people, are receiving their education.

The non-profit organization is bringing educational opportunities to many Ohioans by providing them access to broadband Internet at affordable prices.

Connect Ohio, Chesapeake Energy and the State of Ohio are working together as the Connect Appalachia Broadband Initiative to remedy this issue.

Ohio ranks 2nd in the nation in Internet use in education.

"There's a lot of exciting things going in education with technology, from the parent standpoint, for example there's a direct correlation between a student's performance and a parent's participation in their effort…Through the Internet, we no longer have to work around student conferences. We can email teachers, wrestling coaches, the librarian and pass them information back and forth at our convenience," says Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio.

Connect Ohio, a non-profit division of Connected Nation Inc., was founded in 2008 with the goal of providing every Ohio business and home access to the Internet and subsequently all the opportunities it provides.

The group works out deals with service and hardware providers and in turn offers broadband Internet at affordable rates to consumers.

In addition to this, the group holds free Internet education classes at about 300 locations across the state.

"We had one principal in Ohio who had a students that wanted to take Chinese class. There wasn't enough interest to fill a class room and there wasn't enough money to hire a teacher, but through online curriculum, they're offering Chinese now at that school," says Johnson of the opportunities the internet provides.