Closing the Digital Divide
What is the purpose?
As schools across the country made the decision to teach partially or fully online for the 2020-2021 school year, it has unearthed a gaping technological divide. As part of GENup’s pledge to support all students, with the Closing the Digital Divide campaign we hope to ensure all students have full access to educational opportunities in a virtual world.
What does the campaign look like?
The Closing the Digital Divide Campaigns requires a two-pronged approach that involved both local chapters and the GENup statewide team:
Initiatives at the local level vary between chapters, examples included:
Implementing Tech Checks at a district-wide level. The surveys are intended to gather information on students’ access to technology–relevant questions included, but were not limited to rating students’ connectivity, rating access to web resources, whether students are sharing devices with a sibling/relative, etc–and subsequently provide the district with information on the state of the digital divide within their schools.
Chapters may advocate for their districts to formulate a Digital Divide Task Force made up of teachers, administrators, students and staff, which will examine data collected in tech surveys and devise strategies to improve a student’s access to technology and the Internet.
Chapters may host webinars in order to improve tech literacy within their school districts and/or to promote student-perspectives on online learning
Chapters may collaborate with Education Foundations to fundraise money to purchase chromebooks or several hundred mobile hotspots
Once the needs of a region are determined, the statewide team then works to negotiate with corporate partners to provide lower socioeconomic communities with the necessary technology needed to be actively engaged in an adequate, virtual-learning environment. They will also oversee all local campaigns and collect data on areas most affected by technology access disparities, through statewide tech surveys.
How can my chapter or I get involved?
If you are interested in this campaign, please read this toolkit.