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92 | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | www.broadbandcommunities.com | JULY 2016 BROADBAND APPLICATIONS Online materials from Khan Academy will become an essential part of high school students' preparation for the SAT exams. Filling the Homework Gap Students need better bandwidth now more than ever. By Rollie Cole / Sagamore Institute for Policy Research F CC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel spoke at the 2015 South by Southwest EDU (SXSWedu) conference about the homework gap – the inability of many K–12 students to complete their schoolwork because they do not have adequate internet connectivity at home. In 2016, SXSWedu featured at least three major developments that will make this gap even more painful and demand that it be closed sooner rather than later. All require "adequate" broadband, and the measure of adequate, in terms of both speed and reliability, keeps increasing. (Many articles in this magazine have shown that fiber technology is best, now and in the foreseeable future, for providing speed and reliability.) KHAN ACADEMY ONLINE PREPARATION FOR COLLEGE BOARD TESTS e president of the College Board and the founder of Khan Academy spoke on a panel about the new format of the College Board SAT (formerly Scholastic Aptitude Test) and SAT Subject Tests (formerly Achievement Tests). e College Board has pledged to make sure it tests for what students should have learned (achievement), not for innate aptitude. To this end, it announced a formal working relationship with Khan Academy, publisher of online self- study materials. Khan Academy is to provide materials, readily available only via the internet, designed to prepare students to do well on the College Board tests. e old tests generated some controversy, and some colleges no longer require them, but at least one-third of all U.S. high school seniors still take them. e panelists said they hoped the new test format, coupled with the Khan materials, would increase the percentage of students who take the tests. ey would like students to take the preliminary test in late freshman or early sophomore year and then use the Khan materials to fill gaps and practice for doing well on the final tests. (e College Board is also removing any scoring penalty for retakes, encouraging students to take the tests until they get the scores they want or need. What was once "cheating" is now "practice.") Using the Khan Academy materials only at school will presumably not be enough to raise students' scores. To be competitive, students must spend time on the materials when school is not in session and even when school buildings are closed. MARKETING FOR MID-LEVEL INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION Several SXSWedu speakers said that although community colleges and high-prestige institutions were generally doing fine, all the rest needed to "up their game," perhaps just to stay operating. Two major strategies available to these institutions are internet-based.