Friday, January 17, 2014

Extending the Learning Day

Kids have been doing homework around the kitchen table for generations without the internet, but times are changing. Now they can work on a Google doc from their laptop in the basement or watch a video lecture from their tablet in the car. Internet access makes it possible for students to extend their learning day—they can access online educational tools anytime, anywhere.

But students without internet access at home can’t take advantage of these opportunities; this situation creates what is known as the digital divide and contributes to a general opportunity gap. As more teaching and learning is done online, this gap grows.

To mitigate the digital divide within its student population, BVSD has formed a partnership with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP), Impact on Education, and the City of Boulder to pilot a program that provides free wireless internet service to students in one of BHP’s housing developments.

"Extending learning time and opportunity through home BVSD internet access is a key way to increase student success. BVSD appreciates community partnerships like this, which are needed to expand capacity and enhance educational opportunities for all students.”  Dr. Bruce Messinger, Superintendent, BVSD.

Here’s how the program will work: BVSD will provide access to the fiber network and internet that it already pays for; BHP will install wireless infrastructure in the buildings. Since students will be accessing BVSD’s network, the connection will be filtered and authenticated (meaning that students must use a password to get online).

The pilot will run from Feb - May. Based on our learnings from this pilot, we hope to extend the program to other housing developments both in Boulder and east county.

I’d like to hear your comments about this partnership with BHP to bring wireless internet to BVSD students extending their school day. Please chime in below. (remember to login first)