Facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources
All it takes is a nationwide crisis to underline the most glaring equity issues our society faces. The one that has captured my attention during COVID-19 is the chronic lack of home internet access for people of color, low-income households, and rural residents. That lack of access puts schools in an especially difficult position as they expand their use of technology during the pandemic, and beyond. It's important to remember that this technology challenge has been staring us in the face for decades. It is not just a COVID-19 issue—it is a civil rights issue of the utmost importance.
The K-12 Bridge to Broadband initiative will enable more students to participate in remote or hybrid learning for the 2020-21 school year by identifying student needs, standardizing eligibility, and facilitating enrollment for sponsored services. NCTA—the Internet & Television Association, USTelecom, and NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association and their member companies are committed to common principles to work with public school districts or states to identify and connect students.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced new funding for two grant programs focused on meeting students' unique learning needs and improving student outcomes. The Expanding Access to Well-Rounded Courses Demonstration Grants Program supports school districts' efforts to develop distance-learning opportunities, expand their course offerings, and ensure students have access to a broad range of advanced, career or technical, and other courses.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, California estimated that 1 million of its 6.2 million school kids didn't have the equipment they needed for virtual learning, prompting leaders from across the tech industry to immediately open their wallets to help. But six months later, with school back in session, only a fraction of the devices those contributions were supposed to purchase are actually in students' hands. Amassing these donations, it turns out, was the easy part.
As fall semester gets into full swing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, schools are noticing a concerning trend: Low-income students are the most likely to drop out or not enroll at all, raising fears that they might never get a college degree.
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.
Much of southern West Virginia had already been struggling with a drug epidemic and persistent poverty before the coronavirus pandemic took hold here. Now, as students return to school online, the region is coming up against another longstanding challenge: a lack of broadband internet access. Providing service in sparsely populated areas is typically more costly and less profitable than in suburbs and cities. In Appalachia, the terrain has made it difficult to install and maintain the infrastructure necessary for broadband.
As students across the country start school, education experts reckon with the long-term implications of remote learning, vanishing resources, and heightened inequality.
After wildfires consumed an entire town, students and teachers who had planned for remote classes found some comfort in staying connected amid the chaos.
Ensuring all US households have high-speed internet will help provide similar education opportunities to students at different income levels, particularly during the pandemic, Democrats said. “Education justice involves giving everybody the same access to information,” said Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL).