Before COVID-19, home internet access for all students was a goal—one that some districts even thought they had achieved. But the pandemic and forced distance learning have exposed a plethora of inequities in schools that many district leaders now see as issues they must address. In the edWebinar “Digital Equity Strategies for Learning Beyond the Classroom,” school leaders talked about how they are managing digital equity in the COVID-19 era and what they see as the critical next steps.
First, the pandemic exposed what Dr. David Miyashiro, superintendent of the Cajon Valley School District (CA), called the false positives of 100 percent home internet access. As a 1:1 district, his administration had previously recognized the need for universal access so that students could work as well from home as they do at school.
Part of the initiative included working with a local cable provider to offer discount access for families in need. Once the students were working from home, though, students who normally completed all work were missing assignments because they were using the Wi-Fi from local businesses or spending extra time at school.