As you may know, there have been a number of articles in the media recently about in-home Internet and its important role in education. Pew just released a survey about how teachers use technology, and the digital divide was very apparent, “…with striking differences in access to the latest digital technologies between lower and higher income students..” For instance, 79 percent of students are asked to download or access assignments online, but about 30 percent of Americans – many of whom live below the poverty line – don’t have Internet at home. To help solve this problem, Comcast launched Internet Essentials, an affordable broadband adoption program for low-income families that also offers the option to purchase a low-cost computer. It’s just under two years old, and educators can spread the word about this powerful program and help close the Digital Divide. “When it comes to education, the Internet has changed everything,” says Alberto Carvalho, Superintendent of Miami-Dade Schools. “It gives kids the ability to do research for their homework. It connects parents to their child’s school where they can monitor grades and see their child’s development. It’s essential for success in school and in our knowledge-based economy that all our children grow up digitally literate and prepared to compete in the digital world,” he says.
While Internet Essentials is for those with a child in the home that is in the national free school lunch program, there is also Internet Basics. This program is for anyone under 135% of the poverty level or who participates in government assistance. This is also a $9.95 a month plan. There are others and you can read all about them on the site that is dedicated to these programs: Cheap Internet.