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Technology Access Gap Leaves Millions of Students Struggling to Keep Up

By Eleanor J. Bader ~ Truthout

Students Are Set Back Without In-Home Internet Access

A 2017 survey of more than 400,000 K-12 students, teachers, librarians and school administrators conducted by Project Tomorrow, a California nonprofit dedicated to educational equity, found that lack of in-home internet access is an enormous problem for students in all 50 states. This has been corroborated by researchers at Pew Research who discovered that 17.5 percent of school children in grades 6 to 12 have ongoing difficulties completing school work due to a lack of internet access.

The situation is especially bad in rural school districts. Some allow students to come to school early and stay late, and some have installed Wi-Fi on school buses. Despite this, more than a quarter of respondents told interviewers that they spend part of each day doing homework in coffee shops or fast food restaurants.

Academic difficulties are clearly compounded by the fact that broadband access is now essential for all students. This is not new.

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