Nearly one-fifth of school-aged children either lack a computer or internet connectivity at home — and the global pandemic has made the problem worse. “The term ‛digital divide’ refers to two things,” says Michael Flood, senior vice president of strategy at Kajeet, a school connectivity provider. “Part of it is the shift to leveraging digital resources. The ‛divide’ part is the inequitable distribution of access — students don’t have a device capable of running the software, or adequate broadband connectivity.”
A digital problem requires a digital solution. “The ISTE standards for students and administrators rely on students being connected to the world around them,” notes Flood. “The biggest component of this challenge has been off-campus access to the internet.”
Solutions include mobile hotspots like the Kajeet SmartSpot®, which works with all the major wireless carriers to ensure access and requires no technical expertise; and providing students with LTE-enabled devices like Chromebooks that can access hotspot connections anywhere.
It’s crucial to keep students safe — and on task. “The connection is managed for education,” notes Flood. “We offer a complete security platform, making sure students don’t go to sites or resources that are off-task or inappropriate.”
Flood thinks this shift to remote learning is a permanent one. “When you look at the world these students are going to be graduating into,” he says, “we know they will need to keep up with the latest technologies in order to be prepared.”