Education technology

Facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources

The Universal Laptop Program Helping Mississippi Narrow the Digital Divide

When pandemic-induced school closures began in spring 2020, Carey Wright, state superintendent of education for Mississippi, seized the opportunity to address the digital divide in the state. Wright and her team at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) immediately began work on a strategic approach to narrow the digital learning divide between students living in different parts of the state.

Online learning and the homework gap amid the pandemic

Students who lacked the home internet connectivity needed to finish schoolwork while virtually learning at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic – an experience often called the “homework gap” – may continue to feel the effects in the 2021-2022 school year.

Leaving no one behind in our post-pandemic recovery: How can technology help?

The disruption caused by the pandemic and the resulting boost in innovation are opportunities to build a better future for everyone, to "do it right" this time. With the right policies, governments, the private sector and the international community have the power and the responsibility to shape a new technological era where no one is left behind. They should be guided by the following objectives:

FCC Opens Second Filing Window for Emergency Connectivity Fund

The second application filing window for the Federal Communications Commission's $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund is open from September 28 to October 13, 2021. The FCC’s Emergency Connectivity Fund, established by the American Rescue Plan of 2021, will help provide relief to millions of students, school staff, and library patrons and help close the Homework Gap for students who currently lack necessary internet access or the devices they need to connect to classrooms.

Strategies for State Leaders Working to Bridge the Digital Divide for Students

In spring 2020, the US Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology hosted a series of listening sessions with state leaders—from state educational agencies, state broadband offices, state libraries, and state economic development agencies—to identify what digital equity issues were magnified as a result of school closings, what immediate actions states were taking to address these issues, and what long-term solutions were being considered to sustainably address these issues.

First Tech Fund: Immigrant-founded nonprofit provides laptops, tech to students in need

First Tech Fund is a new nonprofit dedicated to closing the digital divide among underserved high school students in New York City. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the burgeoning digital divide among students of different economic backgrounds.

FCC Opens a Second Emergency Connectivity Fund Application Window

In view of outstanding demand, the Federal Communications Commission will open a second Emergency Connectivity Fund application filing window from September 28, 2021 to October 13, 2021.

AT&T Launches Connected Learning Centers

AT&T is expanding free-device programs, increasing access to educational and digital literacy tools and opening the first of more than 20 AT&T Connected Learning Centers across the US. These centers will be housed within local community organizations and will provide underserved students and families with free access to the internet, computers, and educational resources. As of now, AT&T plans to open Connected Learning Centers in Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Miami, and San Francisco.

Can we measure the benefits of broadband?

The Missouri House of Representatives’ Special Interim Committee on Broadband Development is working to develop a better understanding of broadband’s role across multiple aspects of everyday living, including education, entrepreneurship and economic development, government services, precision agriculture and telemedicine. The committee asked, can we measure the extent to which affordable broadband improves educational outcomes, labor market participation, or population growth? Fortunately, researchers constantly are adding to our collective knowledge. The following data measures:

What It’s Like to be Underconnected to the Internet and Worried About Returning to Remote Learning

Advocates for better and more affordable broadband are relatively pleased with the infrastructure bill's broadband components, even if the new legislation doesn’t go as far as they want.