Corporations learn how to set up giving programs in less than 48 hours, and schools learn strategies to acquire technology.
11 Million students on the wrong side of the digital divide don’t have connectivity at home.
Together we can solve the digital divide by providing hot spots and laptops for students.
Sign up for the webinar series at DigitalWish.org right now.
MILTON, DE, US, May 27, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — COVID-19 revealed that access to the internet and computing devices is not equal across schools nationwide. Eleven million students lack internet connectivity at home and some schools are still closed due to the pandemic. This week the Delaware-based nonprofit Digital Wish is releasing “Solving the Digital Divide,” a webinar series that seeks to empower corporations and schools to close the gap in technology resources that keeps students disconnected from their education. The series educates schools on where the money is, how to get it, and what to do with it. It’s also a guide for corporations on replicating programs that allow them to easily give to those communities they care about the most. The episodes cover everything from how to set up a hot spot lending library, how to launch a corporate giving program in less than 48 hours and stories of how schools have integrated technology quickly and effectively, among other topics.
The release of the series comes when $7 billion in American Rescue Act funding has just passed in Congress. This is just one of the funds that’s been dedicated to closing the homework gap by covering the cost of laptops and hotspots for students.
According to Heather Chirtea, executive director of Digital Wish, “We have an enormous challenge to spread the word right now — that’s why this series is so important. Most schools we talk to don’t even know the $7 billion in funding is coming. The window to apply is likely to open in June right when schools get out, and run through the holiday when most educators are on vacation. We have a huge task to spread the word so that schools can prepare.”
For those that know the funding is coming, the race is on to get schools the money they need to reconnect students to their classwork and teachers.
“Every day we don’t solve the digital divide for a student, is one day further behind that they fall,” said Don Benton, assistant commissioner at the Arkansas Department of Education, Research and Technology Division. “It’s a corporate problem for those businesses that need to hire them when they graduate. We have a moral obligation to fix this problem.” Benton, who hosts one of the webinars, will explain how to make a large purchase of hotspots, the requirements, tips and successes from the trenches. His team jumped on the problem of solving the digital divide from the state level almost as soon as the COVID pandemic hit. He was able to purchase approximately 20,000 hotspots from three different vendors. He also posted a Facebook tutorial page on instructional technology that got 25,000 followers in the first week.
In addition to Benton, other hosts in the series include educators, principals, a librarian, Department of Education officials, technology and grant specialists. Digital Wish has teamed up with corporations, foundations, corporate speakers, and many school and state institutions to put together the webinar series, which explain programs, funding and initiatives that are available to “Solve the Digital Divide.” Webinars will be accompanied by practical links, steps, programs and solutions. A video archive with shared links will be available after every episode to encourage schools to craft copycat programs.
Schedule – “Solving the Digital Divide” Webinars:
Fri, May 28, 11:00:00 AM EST – Identifying What Money is Available for EdTech Funding Right Now
Tue., June 1, 11AM EST – Libraries: Setting up a Technology Lending Program and Assessing the Need
Tue., June 8, 3 PM EST – Connecting Every Student with $7 Billion in Funding
Thu., June 10, 12:30PM – Corporate Social Responsibility, Harnessing the Future Workforce
Tue., June 22, 10:30 AM EST – Funding On-Campus Connections with E-rate Support
…And in the Watch Now Archive:
– District Technology Adoption Strategies
– Women In Technology Solving the Digital Divide
More webinars are posting daily. For the complete schedule of episodes go to https://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/webinars