Children and Media

Exposure to educational television has been shown to have positive effects on the social, intellectual, and educational development of children. Is it possible to find truly educational content on broadcast television? Articles below deal with 1) television broadcasters' obligation to provide educational programming for children, 2) efforts to shield children from indecenct programming, 3) advertising aimed at children and 4) children and violence.

Chairman Pai's Response to Senators Regarding Helping Students Maintain Connectivity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Sept 17, 2020, 36 Democratic and 2 Independent Senators wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to demand that the FCC take immediate action to help children who lack internet access at home and are unable to participate in online learning. Specifically, they called on Chairman Pai to utilize the E-Rate program to close this "homework gap" without further delay.

900 children in suburban Cook County public housing to get free laptops as remote learning continues to present digital barriers

Hundreds of school-age children in suburban Cook County (IL)  public housing will get free laptops paid for by federal coronavirus stimulus money starting Oct 7, as part of an ongoing effort to ensure digital access after the COVID-19 pandemic upended in-person learning. About $270,000 of CARES Act money allocated to the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) will be used to purchase laptops for 900 students who live in the public housing complexes to keep and otherwise would struggle to complete remote learning.

Cox Investing $60 Million to Close Distance Learning Gap

Saying the COVID-19 pandemic can't be allowed to create an "irreversible" learning gap for students without access to the internet, Cox is teaming up with Common Sense Media to try and do something about it. Cox is pledging $60 million over the next year to help close the digital learning divide. Cox will also extend its offer to new Connect2Compete customers. If they sign up by year's end, they will get two months free, followed by $9.95 per month internet. Cox's outdoor WiFi hotspots will also remain open to all comers.

The Students Left Behind By Remote Learning

Shemar, a 12-year-old from East Baltimore, is good at math, and Karen Ngosso, his fourth grade math teacher at Abbottston Elementary School, is one reason why.  Remote learning started in earnest on April 6. For Shemar, that meant just four hours per week of live online instruction — an hour for each of the four main subjects once a week, with nothing on Fridays.

The internet isn’t a luxury

I’m leading 45 of my colleagues in the Senate to fight for at least $4 billion to be delivered through the E-Rate program so students receive the Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet connected devices they need to learn at home. Excluding this critical aid from a new coronavirus relief package—as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Republican lawmakers recently did—will exacerbate already substantial inequities for decades. Sixteen million of our nation’s most vulnerable children will continue to suffer. They will continue to fall behind.

Charter Relaunches Free 60-Day Spectrum Internet & WiFi Offer To Help Connect New Households With K-12 And College Students Or Educators

Charter Communications announced a relaunch of its Remote Education Offer providing free Spectrum Internet – with speeds up to 200 Mbps in most markets – and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12th graders, college students and/or educators. The promotion is available for customers who live in a Spectrum market and do not currently have Spectrum Internet services.

How courageous schools partnering with local communities can overcome digital inequalities during COVID-19

Leveraging high-speed broadband access, I present several ideas for ensuring all K-12 students can learn during a time of in-person schooling shutdowns and other uncertainties: transform vacant local establishments into classrooms and provide technology access through unused business equipment; enable Wi-Fi in federally assisted housing or in parked school buses; reconfigure digital parking lots into digital parks; and utilize local organizations to help solve local digital access challenges.

Comcast Announces Multiyear Effort to Roll Out 1,000+ WiFi-Connected 'Lift Zones' in Local Community Centers Nationwide

Comcast announced a multiyear program to launch more than 1,000 Wi-Fi-connected “Lift Zones” in community centers nationwide. Working with its network of thousands of nonprofit partners and city leaders, Comcast will provide Wi-Fi in facilities they have identified to help students get online, participate in distance learning, and do their schoolwork. The initiative will provide not only free Internet connectivity, but also access to hundreds of hours of educational and digital skills content to help families and site coordinators navigate online learning.

Distance learning while homeless in the Twin Cities: It’s complicated and challenging

Prior to the pandemic and resulting shift to distance learning, the St. Paul Public Schools district had already deployed a one-to-one iPad program, districtwide. District staff still had to troubleshoot internet access issues with families — and efforts have been made to help deliver hotspots and devices to students who may be doubled up with other families in neighboring communities.

Congress needs to provide flexible funding to states to deploy broadband networks

Over the past few weeks, millions of kids couldn’t begin learning at all because they do not have access to affordable, high-speed internet. In Colorado, 65,000 students don’t have access to the internet at home.