Across the United States, 15 million students lack access to the technology and devices they need to participate in online distance learning.
As educators continue to develop online and hybrid learning models in response to the pandemic and our reliance on virtual and remote technology continues to grow, solving the digital divide crisis has become more urgent than ever. This gap in access and resources is causing many students, especially those in low-income households, to fall behind.
So, what can we do?
To tackle these issues, Endless Network has launched #KeepAllKidsLearning, an initiative that connects families without internet access to offline learning resources, and encourages content creators and organizations to make their educational content available as a free download.
TED-Ed has joined educational content creators like the Khan Academy, Blockly, Wikipedia, and others in contributing to the Endless Key, a USB Drive created by the Endless OS Foundation that acts as an offline, portable content library. The USB is preloaded with over 100 engaging apps, games, and educational content— a library at the fingertips of those without Internet. You can learn more about the Endless Key here.
How you can get involved
Learn how content creators, educational distribution companies, and EdTech platforms can contribute free and downloadable content in order to #KeepAllKidsLearning.
If your students or family struggle with internet connectivity, explore Common Sense Media’s Wide Open School initiative, which helps families and educators find trusted, high-quality resources to enrich and support distance learning for free. Or check out Learning Equality, which focuses on creating tools to make it possible to explore the world of digital learning without internet connectivity and works to expand the reach of content creators by adapting their materials for use offline via open-source software.
Relying on online tools and the internet is the new normal in education, and we must work to close the digital divide to ensure digital equity among all learners. What will you do to #KeepAllKidsLearning this year?