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TERMS

Homework Gap: A term introduced to describe the observable academic achievement gap between households without high-speed broadband service and those homes with high-speed broadband. Children in homes without high-speed broadband are falling behind in school and have difficultly completing homework assignments and after-school assignments because the students cannot access the Internet. It’s this gap between the two groups that have educators concerned.

Digital Divide: a gap between those who have ready access to information and communication technology and the skills to make use of those technology and those who do not have the access or skills to use those same technologies within a geographic area, society or community. It is an economic and social inequality between groups of persons. (Wikipedia)

Digital Equity: “In simple terms, digital equity means all students have adequate access to information and communications technologies for learning and for preparing for the future-regardless of socioeconomic status, physical disability, language, race, gender, or any other characteristics that have been linked with unequal treatment.” (Gwen Soloman, 2002)

Education Broadband™: CIPA-compliant, education-only content delivered via a mobile device over a 4G LTE wireless network.

Blended Learning: is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through delivery of content and instruction via digital and online media with some element of student control over time, place, path, or pace. (Wikipedia)

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA): The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children's access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. The FCC issued rules implementing CIPA and provided updates to those rules in 2011. Schools and libraries subject to CIPA may not receive the discounts offered by the E-rate program unless they certify that they have an Internet safety policy that includes technology protection measures. The protection measures must block or filter Internet access to pictures that are: (a) obscene; (b) child pornography; or (c) harmful to minors (for computers that are accessed by minors).

E-Rate: is the commonly used name for the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, which is administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) under the direction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Title 1: is the federal program that provides funding to local school districts to improve the academic achievement of disadvantaged students. It is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed in 1965.

Lifeline: Funded in 1985, the Lifeline program provides a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings. In 2005, Lifeline discounts were made available to qualifying low-income consumers on pre-paid wireless service plans in addition to traditional landline service. Lifeline is part of the Universal Service Fund. www.fcc.gov/lifeline.

STATISTICS

High school students who have broadband Internet at home have graduation rates 6 to 8 percentage points higher than students who don’t. Federal Reserve

According to the Making Learning Mobile 3.0 report, students’ average RIT score in math improved by 11.26 points (24% higher) with 1:1 devices AND Internet connectivity.

Roughly 7 in 10 teachers assign homework that requires access to broadband. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 2014

One in three households do not subscribe to broadband services at any speed — for reasons such as the lack of affordability and lack of interest. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

5 million households with school-age children do not have high-speed internet service at home. Low-income households – and especially black and Hispanic ones – make up a disproportionate share of that 5 million. Pew Research Center

(31.4%) of households whose incomes fall below $50,000 and with children ages 6 to 17 do not have a high-speed internet connection at home. This low-income group makes up about 40% of all families with school-age children in the United States, according to the bureau’s American Community Survey. (The survey asked questions on home internet use for the first time in 2013.) By comparison, only 8.4% of households with annual incomes over $50,000 lack a broadband internet connection at home. In other words, low-income homes with children are four times more likely to be without broadband than their middle or upper-income counterparts. Pew Research Center

More than half of teachers in low-income communities said that their students’ lack of access to online resources at home presented a major challenge to integrating technology into their teaching. Pew Research Center

Only 3 percent of teachers in high-poverty schools said that their students have the digital tools necessary to complete homework assignments, compared to 52 percent of teachers in more affluent schools. Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

Teachers in high-poverty schools were more than twice as likely (56 percent versus 21 percent) to say that their students’ lack of access to technology was a challenge in their classrooms. Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education

Nearly half of teachers (42 percent) say their students lack sufficient access to technology outside of the classroom, and more than a third (35 percent) say their schools lack adequate funding for technology.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Teachers Know Best Report

95% of districts have some form of in school Wi-Fi. Only 5% of districts have some form of off-campus connectivity plans in place. Kajeet District Survey, November 2014

According to Project Tomorrow data, “even amongst students who say they have high speed Internet access at home, in many cases though students never get to use that access. If there is one family computer that is hard wired for that high speed access, students today need to contend for access with siblings who are also trying to do their homework, parents looking for jobs or doing their own work, Mobile Learning and family entertainment activities using that computer. Students tell us that having their own mobile device that is not a shared device give them better, more reliable access to the Internet than trying to use the family broadband connection.”

ON-LINE RESOURCES

Kajeet Information:

Visit our Resource Library for product information sheets and helpful documents such as a sample student home connectivity survey.

General Information:

Guidelines and examples of Acceptable Use Policies for technology lending related to 1:1 programs from Common Sense Education.

K-12 In school Connectivity/e-rate: http://www.educationsuperhighway.org/

School Broadband Availability: http://www2.ed.gov/broadband/about.html

Digital Divide Research: http://www.pewinternet.org/topics/digital-divide

Digital Divide Definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide

Richard Culatta, Director, Office of Educational Technology, Dept. of Ed., Dear Colleague Letter: Examples of how funds from ESEA (Titles I, II, III) and IDEA may support the use of technology to improve instruction and student outcomes.

Catherine E. Lhamon, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Dept. of Ed., Dear Colleague Letter: Ensuring that students of all races and national origin backgrounds have equal access to effective teaching, adequate facilities, and quality instructional programs and support including off-campus Internet Connectivity.

Articles

THE Journal: How Digital Equity Can Help Close the Homework Gap. According to a CoSN survey, 82 percent of school districts don't have a plan to address students' Internet access outside of school. That needs to change.

Nancy Pelosi and the Homework Gap: http://fortune.com/2015/06/19/pelosi-digital-divide-students/

Education World: Caught in the Digital Divide

Education Week: Bridging the Digital Divide in Classrooms.

NBC News: Why It's So Hard to Close the Digital Divide in High-Poverty Schools

Digital Divide: The Technology Gap between the Rich and Poor

Miami Herald: How to Close the 'Homework Gap'

Pew Research: The Numbers Behind the Homework Gap

What 'unlimited' data plans really mean at T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press

Reference and Research

Making Learning Mobile 3.0: The final results from a three-year-long study to evaluate the benefits of 1-to-1 tablet implementation, including Internet access outside the classroom in Chicago Public Schools.

Making Learning Mobile 2.0: An evaluation of the benefits of mobile learning in Chicago Public School Falconer ES.

What is the Digital Divide's Impact on Learning? http://www.education.com/reference/article/what-digital-divides-impact-learning/

The 2015 Building a Grad Nation report: http://gradnation.org/report/2015-building-grad-nation-report

The numbers behind the broadband ‘homework gap.’ Pew Research Center

Professional Associations

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN): http://www.cosn.org/

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE®): http://www.iste.org/

QUOTES
Every student deserves a fair shot at success, but too many students in this country aren't getting that shot because when the school day ends so, too, does their access to the Internet and all the valuable education tools it provides. That gap is not only unfair, but it also puts them at a significant disadvantage that can seriously affect their futures,"

United States Senators Angus King (I-Maine), June 2015
“There’s a homework gap — these kids go home and they don’t have that technology,” Pelosi said at the 83rd annual U.S. Mayors Conference in San Francisco. “But they should and they can and we’ll make it happen. Only 37% of our nation’s schools had enough broadband for digital learning, placing 40 million kids on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, June 2015
“School-aged kids without broadband access at home are not only unable to complete their homework – they enter the job market with a serious handicap,” she said. “And that loss is more than individual. It’s a loss to the collective human capital and shared economic future that we need to address.”

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, 2015

 

“The fundamental idea behind the Kajeet Homework Gap Heroes is to recognize the doers in our schools who are working tirelessly to make sure that all students can have access to the Internet connectivity they need to do their homework. Literally millions of kids do not have the ability to do Internet-based homework – or even e-mail their teacher – once they leave school grounds. This insidious Homework Gap is deadly to the academic advancement and life success of these disconnected kids. What’s more, as each day passes and more educational material is moved to the Internet, the Homework Gap widens. Many people talk about the Homework Gap. The Homework Gap Heroes take action. With Kajeet Education Broadband™ these heroes are putting equal opportunity directly into the hands of young students who want to, and will, succeed, if only they are given access to the educational resources and opportunities that ‘the rich kids’ take for granted.”

Daniel Neal, CEO, Kajeet, 2016
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