Disadvantaged Students in Georgia District Get Home Internet Service
Fayette County Schools in Georgia will
provide its economically disadvantaged students with free wireless Internet
service at home in an effort to close the district's digital divide.
Fayette County has a bring-your-own-device policy, but some students
can't afford to buy their own devices. The district already works with
Title I parent liaisons in its elementary and middle schools to identify
qualifying families and loan them equipment. Now those families will also
receive filtered mobile broadband service to ensure students can access
educational resources from home.
“The pen and paper days are gone in school, but when kids needed paper and
pencil, we provided the materials,” said Clarice Howard, Title I Coordinator for
Fayette County Schools, in a prepared statement. “Today all students need access
to computing devices. Through Title I funds, our district provided devices for
those who couldn’t afford them, and, with the need to extend the learning day,
it’s our responsibility to level the playing field for these children by
providing equipment for connectivity after school.”
The district has partnered with the wireless service provider Kajeet to give
Title I students a
Kajeet SmartSpot for accessing online textbooks, apps, e-mail, documents,
sites and their teachers when they are outside of school. The SmartSpot is a portable mobile hotspot that works with the Kajeet Sentinel cloud portal
to filter student connectivity. Districts and schools can block access to
specific sites and disable the service during specific time periods to help
keep students focused on educational content and reduce costs. The Kajeet
service also provides teachers and administrators with learning analytics
reports to help them monitor student progress.
Kajeet has also partnered with the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
and the National Title I Association to produce a toolkit for districts,
“Rethinking Educational Equity in a Digital Era: Forging a Strong Partnership
between District Title I and Technology Leaders,” which is available through
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].