As it turns out, the digital divide proves tougher for students with fewer electronic devices at home--and the COVID-19 crisis makes the divide even wider

When the digital divide is made worse by a pandemic


As it turns out, the digital divide proves tougher for students with fewer electronic devices at home--and the COVID-19 crisis makes the divide even wider

The digital divide is proving one of the most pervasive and stubborn challenges in U.S. education, and its effects can follow students from kindergarten through college. As if that’s not bad enough, the COVID-19 crisis, which forced students across the globe to learn at home while schools closed physical operations, made inequities even more apparent.

Students in schools all over the U.S. struggled to find existing or reliable internet connections, many didn’t have access to appropriate devices to complete online assignments, others waited for weeks until schools managed to organize device-lending programs, while still others had to share devices with siblings and, sometimes, parents who also had to work from home.

Related content: Family tech nights can narrow the digital divide

But these inequities existed long before a global health pandemic shed light on the connectivity and access struggle occurring in the nation’s schools and homes.

A study confirms that, despite efforts to close the space, the gap between students who have access to devices and the internet and those who lack it compounds equity problems within U.S. schools.

eSchool News Staff

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