Technology Companies Help Narrow the Student Distance Learning Digital Divide
The COVID-19 health crisis has laid bare the technology gap that exists among California's students. With the necessity that many students participate in distance learning, closing the digital divide has become an urgent problem.
After most schools in California closed last month to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a group of technology industry leaders and government officials began working together to raise funds for students who lack access to Internet connectivity and computer devices. In addition, the California Department of Education has in recent weeks assessed the technology needs for all California students.
The goal is to build more equitable teaching and learning environments, which are in jeopardy due to the uneven impacts of COVID-19 on students, their families and teachers. In particular need of help are special education students, English learners, and students in rural areas.
As a result of this group effort, during the first week of May, 100,000 free WiFi hotspots donated by Google will be made available to students. The California Public Utilities Commission is making an additional $25,000,000 available to provide WiFi hotspots and $5,000,000 for computer devices. And more than 70,000 laptops, Chromebooks and iPads have been donated for student use.
As a pilot project, Sacramento City Unified School District is converting seven school buses into mobile WiFi hotspots. If this project is successful, more such school buses may be used in the future throughout the state.
During this health crisis, please stay safe.
Education Attorney Molly Watson
A special education law firm serving children with special needs in California
Call us at 530-273-2740 or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.