Even as schools, libraries, and universities increasingly leverage the power of technology to support teaching and learning, many students do not have access to the devices, broadband, or training they need to learn. In Connecticut, an estimated 8 percent of school-aged children (~40,000) do not have access to the Internet outside of school. The spring 2020 statewide technology report provides more detailed data behind these estimates.
To address this challenge, the Commission has developed a Digital Equity Toolkit. This document provides a set of recommended steps and resources to help communities get students of all ages online outside of school, with access to high-quality devices and the skills to make the best use of these learning tools. The Commission's Remote Learning page provides up-to-date resources for districts to connect students, including a guide for purchasing cellular hotspots to help leaders compare private-sector solutions.
In addition to the Toolkit, the Commission is working with towns to leverage the Eduroam technology platform to leverage the networks of existing anchor institutions (e.g., libraries, YMCAs, etc.) to connect learners outside of school.
Many communities across our state have undertaken the critical challenge of getting students online outside of traditional learning institutions. To share your insights and resources, contact Doug Casey, firstname.lastname@example.org.