Networking & Wireless
South Carolina District Taps Partners To Launch Home Internet Access Pilot
Spartanburg School District Seven has teamed with a local housing authority and two
private partners in a project that will provide home Internet access for students living in public housing.
For two years, the district has been providing students in grades 3-12 iPads or MacBook Airs. Following a survey, the district estimated
that half its students didn't have home Internet access and began partnering with local organizations such as businesses and churches to
provide Wi-Fi access in the community for those students. Some students, however, were not even able to access those locations.
As a result, Spartanburg School District Seven, Spartanburg Housing Authority,
Novatel Wireless and Kajeet
have partnered to launch a pilot project that will "provide students in public housing with filtered Internet connectivity to access
online textbooks, apps, emails, documents and Web sites, as well as communicate with their teachers," according to a news release.
"These devices are giving them opportunities — a tool to further their education," said Christine Horowitz, director of instructional
technology for Spartanburg District Seven, in a prepared statement. "When they take their iPads and computers home, it extends the learning
day. Now we want to level the playing field for those without Internet access at home. This new program will benefit our students and their
"Public housing authorities provide adequate and affordable housing, but no Internet," said Miguel A. Pastrana, IT systems analyst for the
Spartanburg Housing Authority, in a news release. "I am a big proponent of education, and this is a great opportunity to level the playing
field for these students. At the Spartanburg Housing Authority, we are always looking for ways to assist or make an impact on our resident's
lives. By collaborating with Spartanburg School District 7, Kajeet and Novatel Wireless, we all now have the opportunity, not only to make a
contribution to the residents and the community at large, but to the students who currently do not have many outlets and at times feel that no
Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.