Giving Compass’ Take:
• EducationSuperHighway, along with foundation support, is working on addressing the “homework gap” so that more students can have home internet access to complete school work.
• Funders are helping schools purchase hot spots for students that need them. What other ways can donors support students during COVID-19?
• Learn about the digital divide during COVID-19.
In October I shared the news that the classroom connectivity gap in U.S. schools is effectively closed. More than 99 percent of schools nationwide have access to speedy and reliable internet, making online learning an option for their students.
Only, now it doesn’t matter. School buildings are closed because of coronavirus, and the bandwidth that powered digital learning for kids is going unused. Now, the most important connectivity statistic is that more than 9 million students do not have internet access at home.
Educators have known about this problem for a long time. Teachers routinely modify their homework assignments to make sure that students without home internet will not be at an unfair disadvantage. Families have, for years, parked outside of businesses that offer free Wi-Fi or taken their children to libraries to find a way to complete assignments that do require the internet. Schools have gotten creative, sending students home with Wi-Fi enabled devices or hotspots that let students connect their own laptops to the internet. They have outfitted school buses with Wi-Fi so students can do their homework on the way home.
But those efforts have been piecemeal, and it has become very clear the nation’s students need a comprehensive solution.
EducationSuperHighway, the nonprofit that declared victory in the effort to connect 99 percent of the nation’s schools to high-speed internet, has pivoted to solving what has become known as the “homework gap.”
Now, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have introduced legislation to spend billions on home internet connectivity for the nation’s students. Foundations are stepping up to provide funding so schools can purchase devices and hotspots for the students who need them. And the level of advocacy and support for a solution has snowballed.
Read the full article about focusing on the homework gap by Tara Garcia Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.
Since you are interested in North America, have you read these selections from Giving Compass related to impact giving and North America?
Looking for a way to get involved?
If you are interested in COVID-19, please see these relevant events, training, conferences or volunteering opportunities the Giving Compass team recommends.
Are you ready to give?
If you are looking for opportunities to take action and give money to COVID-19, here are some Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects aggregated by Giving Compass where you can take immediate action.