On this date in 2000 President Clinton opened up the GPS system by ending the selective degradation of signals to non-military users. You’ll never believe what happened next. Actually, you will. Think about it the next time you get in an Uber or use Google Maps.
Yet that sort of revolution hasn’t yet been fully realized in the education sector – where we arguably had a similar grain size shift the following year. I look at why not in a U.S. News & World Report column today:
Seventeen years ago, a few minutes after midnight on May 2, 2000, the United States government ended a policy of intentionally degrading GPS signals or making them “selectively available” to almost anyone except military applications. With one policy decision by President Bill Clinton, the accuracy of GPS for all users went from 50-100 meters off to 20 meters or better with the flick of a switch. Innovation took off, businesses were launched and, as anyone who uses Uber or Google Maps knows, GPS today is accurate to a few meters and a part of every smart phone.
The GPS change was basically about grain size. As the GPS grain size got smaller, the potential for GPS-powered applications took off. Whether for navigation, safety or just convenience, the smaller grain size made a variety of solutions possible.
Not long after Clinton’s GPS decision, education data underwent its own grain size shift…
You don’t need GPS to find the column. (Sorry). Just click right here.