It’s not often that the editors decide to dedicate pages in three consecutive issues to one particular topic. But the issue of digital equity deserves that level of attention this year. From massive changes in E-Rate funding regulations, to election year politics, to technologies that finally enable anytime, anywhere learning for everyone—as long as they have access—there should be no reason every student in America can’t be wired.
Of course, that sounds great in concept but what about reality? Contributing writer Tara Smith scours districts across the country for solutions Coachella Valley, California, has tricked out 100 buses with wi-fi routers and solar panels so kids not only get access on long commutes but the buses stay parked in their neighborhoods overnight. In Athens, Alabama, school officials encourage local businesses to display “Power Up” stickers in shop windows and encourage students to jack in. In rural West Virginia, state officials are laying fiber and devising strategies for virtual lectures via Skype.
These are all positive steps that we hope will inspire you to share with your own schools and districts. Digital equity will also be the focus of our SchoolCIO Summit this fall in Baltimore this September. Have a story to share? Drop me a note!
— Kevin Hogan