Defeat the Digital Divide Helps Bring Reliable Internet Connections to Schools Nationwide

COVINGTON, KY: October 21, 2021 – A new website launched by a collaboration of leading technology experts, STEP CG and Cradlepoint, is providing information and educational resources to help K-12 schools ensure their students have access to the technology they need to succeed. Defeat the Digital Divide ( https://defeatthedigitaldivide.com) offers school districts engaging learning tools to build solutions that will enable them to close the gap between those who have access to reliable internet service and those who don’t. 

Several helpful tools within the site are designed to help districts gain knowledge and make decisions about implementing their own network, including: 

  • Digital Divide Readiness Assessment 
  • Defeat the Digital Divide Checklist 
  • Success stories from other school districts 

The internet has become an integral tool in education that enables students to access school online while opening up new worlds of learning. But with 42 million Americans unable to purchase internet access no matter their incomes, roughly 16 million K-12 students lack reliable digital connections to their schools. This Digital Divide affects school districts in all types of communities, from rural to urban, and encompasses all income levels.  …Read More

When the digital divide is made worse by a pandemic

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…Read More

3 tips for jumpstarting your district’s connectivity discussion

This year’s E-rate cycle may be over, but in order to be well prepared for the next one, now is the time to start the connectivity conversation with your school district. In today’s classrooms, high-speed internet is no longer an option; it has become a necessity.

Digital learning helps students grasp concepts more fully, and not having access to the wealth of information found in online videos, apps, and curriculum puts these students at an immediate disadvantage to their connected peers. As schools increasingly turn to digital learning, all classrooms must have reliable, fast internet connections in order to prepare students sufficiently for future challenges like college and the job market.

While dramatic progress has been made in closing the connectivity gap in our public schools, there are still 6.5 million K-12 students who lack access to high-speed classroom internet, leaving them unprepared or underprepared for the world’s digital expectations.…Read More

e-Rate advocates: More funding for internet connections

Schools, public libraries depend on e-Rate dollars for bandwidth connections

internet-connectionsAs the deadline to submit comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on ways to improve the federal eRate program wrapped up on Sept. 16, ed-tech advocacy groups and associations made final attempts to emphasize how crucial adequate high-speed broadband connections are for teaching and learning.

Coinciding with the comment deadline is the release of a Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) study revealing that 99 percent of the 450 K-12 districts surveyed need greater internet bandwidth within the next 36 months, and 93 percent of districts believe the current e-Rate program does not meet their needs.

Acknowledging that the e-Rate has indeed put basic internet connections and functionality into classrooms, CoSN CEO Keith Krueger said that “going forward, our students need stronger, faster networks, so they can build their critical thinking and imaginative skills and compete on a level playing field with their global peers.”…Read More