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Connected Nation's Podcast

Author: Jessica Denson

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This is Connected Nation – a podcast focused on all things broadband. From closing the Digital Divide to simply improving your internet speeds, we talk technology topics that impact all of us, our families, and our communities. To learn more about our national nonprofit, head to
22 Episodes
On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, who in a recent opinion piece published by Slate pointed to high-speed internet (broadband) as “an imperative, not a luxury.” We will explore how he believes the country can close the Digital Divide by taking a page out of history and looking at the success seen through a program during President Eisenhower’s administration. “I see this as an incredible opportunity to allow people to live purposeful lives.” ~Gov. Jeb Bush Related LinksRead the Slate piece discussed in this podcast by clicking here.   To follow Gov. Bush on Twitter go to @JebBushTo learn more about ExcelinEd head to the website by clicking here or check out the nonprofit's Twitter feed by heading here @ExcelinEd 
On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with those behind a massive undertaking to connect more than 28,000 students with economic challenges to high-speed internet in a Tennessee school district– and they’re succeeding in the midst of the pandemic.  Learn how this unique public-private partnership was developed—and how it is working to help thousands of kids who would otherwise be left without access to their remote classrooms.   Related Links Hamilton County Schools - Chattanooga - Goes Home Chattanooga - Enterprise Center - Release
On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with two Ohio University students who have been working to improve connectivity across the Buckeye State. Learn what they’ve been doing to help expand internet access for families and communities—even during the pandemic. Learn more about Connected Nation Ohio by heading here: HB13 - which was mentioned in this podcast:Click here to read about this broadband expansion legislation in Ohio.  
This is Rural Technology Leaders (RTL), a special series produced through the Connected Nation Podcast. In this series, we focus on companies and individuals that are utilizing technology and connectivity in rural America.In this episode of RTL, we talk with Dan Manning and Tom Stephenson, who each serve as Community Technology Advisors for Connected Nation’s Connected Community Engagement Program. They have extensive experience working with communities and organizations doing community team creation, data gathering, and technology action planning. They share their experiences with rural technology leaders, the hurdles of developing these leaders in rural communities, and the important role that these leaders play in our communities.
In this episode of Connected Nation we talk with State Program Director for Connected Nation Texas, Jennifer Harris, and Vice President of GIS Services for Connected Nation, Ashley Hitt, who led a team that recently released new broadband coverage maps for every single county in Texas—if you’re counting that’s 254.  Ashley and Jennifer share details on how this was done, what it means for those who need high-speed internet access, and how this model can be replicated in other states and communities to expand broadband access.Related Links: Hitt on Twitter - @AshleyHittGIS Jennifer Harris on Twitter: @TxLnghrnJen 
On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with Doug McCollough, the Chief Information Officer, for the City of Dublin in Ohio.  He has not only helped navigate the city through Covid-19 measures but is also a leader within Black Tech Columbus—a group with a mission to provide space for Black Tech professionals to connect, collaborate, and create. Black Tech Columbus Website: Twitter: @BlackTech614 and @DougITPro
On this episode of Connected Nation we talk with Evan Marwell, Founder and CEO of EducationSuperHighway—a nonprofit with a mission to upgrade internet access in every public school classroom in America. Learn how the organization ultimately achieved its goal before pivoting its mission and focus to respond to the urgent need for better access at home following 2020 school closures.The following websites were referenced in the podcast: 
On this episode, we talk with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai. He shares what action the FCC has and IS taking to make sure YOU stay connected during and after the pandemic….and discusses what priority projects are already in play as the nation looks to the Commission for guidance about the future of— among other things—5G technology, telehealth, school connectivity, and improved digital equity.  You can follow Chairman Pai on Twitter at @AjitPaiFCC.
On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with Martha Tedesco and Mary Lang who are with Assumption High School located in Louisville, Kentucky. Assumption is the largest Sisters of Mercy-sponsored Catholic high school in the Americas and one of the largest all-girls Catholic schools in the country.  The school approached COVID-19 closures in some unique ways. Lang and Tedesco share how they leveraged tech to better facilitate classroom instruction, create an online community for students and teachers, and produce a memorable graduation for the class of 2020—a group of seniors that we can all agree faced circumstances never before seen in our history. How the lessons they've learned can help other schools, teachers, and students as school districts across the country consider how to handle classes this fall. Programming note: as promised in the podcast, this is the prom tik tok:
Right now, millions of Americans are struggling. COVID-19 closures forced workers into their homes and students out of the classroom. And there’s a looming problem with that—many of these individuals and families do not have the critical internet access they need.  On this episode of Connected Nation, we talk with those behind a new project in northern Michigan that’s tackling this problem head on – and HERE’S THE REALLY GOOD NEWS - it’s something that we can duplicate across the country. Link referenced in podcast: more about the partnership between Portage Health Foundation and Baraga Telephone Company:
This is Rural Technology Leaders (RTL), a special series produced through the Connected Nation Podcast. In this series, we focus on companies and individuals that are utilizing technology and connectivity in rural America.In this edition of RTL, we talk with Nathan Stooke founder of WISPER ISP, a rural fixed wireless internet service provider in South Western Illinois. We discuss what it's like being a rural ISP, how they help other rural businesses, and the future of rural connectivity.
On this episode of Connected Nation, we are focusing on legislation that can impact high-speed internet access in communities across the country – including yours. We talk with Lindsay Conrad, the Director of Public Policy for Connected Nation. She shares what state and federal lawmakers are doing both in response to the need for better internet connectivity for families, businesses, students, and others during AND after the coronavirus pandemic. 
On today's podcast we talk with Melody Kerr—an elementary school teacher with 14 years of experience in the classroom. She has taught kindergarteners, first graders, and second graders and is a mother of two girls. Kerr shares her top 5 tips for parents trying to cope during the coronavirus shutdowns.Also, learn what parents need to know and do to prepare their children for a new school year that may be all or partially virtual – including what skills students should focus on improving.  
Why is my internet not working properly? It's a question Ashley Hitt, the Director of GIS Services for Connected Nation, gets asked often. Often times it's NOT an issue wrong with the network or connection, but rather something in the equipment or setup that is causing internet issues and frustrations. On this episode of Connected Nation, Hitt shares her top 5 list of things you can check at home before calling your internet provider about a problem.
On this edition of Connected Nation, we talk with Dr. Andrea Goldsmith, the first woman to be awarded the prestigious $100,000 Marconi Prize—dubbed the “Nobel Prize of Telecommunications.” We discuss how her pioneering work has helped improve cellular and Wifi technology enabling billions of consumers around the world to enjoy fast and reliable wireless service. Dr. Goldsmith also shares why NOW is the most exciting time in her 30-year career and what she believes is on the horizon for wireless technology. Learn more about Dr. Goldsmith and read her full bio by heading here—Shattering the Silicon Ceiling: 2020 Marconi Prize Awarded to Wireless Innovator Dr. Andrea Goldsmith.The Marconi Society "celebrates, inspires, and connects innovators building tomorrow’s technologies in service of a digitally inclusive world." Learn more about the Marconi Society by clicking here, and meet the Marconi Fellows by clicking here (it is one impressive group that includes Turing and Nobel Prize winners). You can also follow the Marconi Society on Twitter at @MarconiSociety for the latest news and information. 
This is Rural Technology Leaders (RTL), a special series produced through the Connected Nation Podcast. In this series, we focus on companies and individuals that are utilizing technology and connectivity in rural America.In this edition of RTL, we talk with Joe Ben Bogle who is the Product Manager for Ag Connections, an Ag software company headquartered in Murray, Kentucky. Ag Connections is a subsidiary of Syngenta. We discuss rural business and ag equipment connectivity, workforce needs for rural areas, and the importance of relationships for ensuring viable business in less populated regions. 
Many of us are working from  home, children are taking classes online, and with “social distancing” being enforced we’re all trying to connect in some way to those we know and love. But with that – there are increased risks. We talk with cybersecurity expert Connie Matthews about simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your family online. Matthews also provided several easy-to-download resources for you and your family. You can find them here:Quick tips for improving your internet securityQuick tips for parents to improve their internet security and protect your children when they are online
We talk step-by-step COVID-19 Response Plans for communities (large and small) and states. Specifically, the focus is on what local and state leaders can do RIGHT NOW to connect more residents and businesses to the internet which provides access to the critical resources many of us need during this challenging time. 
We talk with leaders in the Utah Education and Telehealth Network about the importance of understanding and tracking technology within our schools AND solutions for continuing education even during COVID-19 closures. Also, we tackle how all schools across the country can begin planning now for a world AFTER the pandemic ends--including a look at emerging tech that could connect us all. 
How can you adjust to teleworking during COVID-19 or even land a remote job now that you really need it?  We talk with Tammy Spring and Chris Pedersen of Digital Works about the demand for telework positions, how Digital Works is shifting to help more people get remote jobs, and what you can do to make working from home during COVID-19 easier on yourself and your loved ones. 
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