Among a slew of appointments, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Chris Rush has been tapped to be the director of educational technology in the Office of the Secretary.

New York State announced it has approved $59.9 million for school technology upgrades statewide. The funding will go to 78 Smart Schools Investment Plans, which were approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.






cyberattack

Higher education institutions are gearing up for a long-term hybrid future, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent Deloitte Insights report finds that a hybrid approach will allow institutions to become more resilient during future disruptions – whether pandemics or natural disasters – help institutional leaders better manage costs and pedagogical demands, and ultimately become more student-centered.






Federal lawmakers in both the House and Senate have included an additional $2 billion for the Department of Labor (DoL) to distribute to help states upgrade unemployment insurance (UI) infrastructure. The funding was included in both the version of the American Rescue Act that passed the House on Feb. 27 and a draft of the Senate companion bill MeriTalk has obtained.






The Federal Communications Commission has voted to formally adopt a Report and Order that establishes the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program. The program uses $3.2 billion in Federal funding to provide qualifying households discounts on their internet service bills and an opportunity to receive a discount on a computer or tablet.






Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., are introducing legislation that will provide up to $15 billion in matching grants to increase access to broadband services in areas of the United States that are unserved by broadband meeting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) minimum definition of that service.






Job satisfaction among K-12 school employees has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic due to increased stress, challenges with hybrid and distance learning, concerns over safety, and financial worries.






cybersecurity

A new report has found that ransomware is the top cyber threat facing higher education amid the shift to distance and hybrid learning.






remote learning

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced children to pack their backpacks and learn remotely, but a lack of technology resources and live contact with teachers has put low-income K-12 students behind their higher-income peers.






election security

The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council – whose leadership spans Federal, state, and local government election officials – applauded inter-government cooperation on implementing cybersecurity safeguards in the 2020 election cycle, and pledged to use lessons learned going forward to improve election security and resiliency.






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