Dec 16, 2020
K-12 Connections: How Schools and Wireless Providers Are Partnering to Get Students Online During COVID-19 .
When schools closed their doors in March due to COVID-19, educators across the country immediately turned to meeting their students’ basic needs: Leaders set up places for families to get meals; distributed critical public health information; provided links to local social service agencies; and transitioned to distance learning. As part of that shift, districts conducted surveys that confirmed what they already knew—an alarming number of students did not have devices and internet connections at home.
With classes taking place entirely online, Americans came together to help address the unprecedented circumstances threatening students’ ability to learn. This paper outlines some of those efforts, focusing in particular on the ways in which school systems, state education departments, and wireless providers collaborated to rapidly deploy hotspot connectivity solutions for students and staff during COVID-19.
Collectively, these initiatives have delivered internet speeds and data amounts to support virtual school related learning for more than 2.4 million children throughout the course of the pandemic. Without wireless hotspots and emergency assistance, many more students would be locked out of learning.