Long Road Ahead to Close California’s Digital Divide in Education Before New School Year Begins
California needs at least 708,400 laptops and 322,100 Wi-Fi hotspots to connect all students to the internet from home, a significant jump from previous estimates, according to data from the California Department of Education shared with EdSource on June 17.
In March, the global pandemic caused schools across California to close and implement distance learning. Districts since then have had to rapidly procure laptops and Wi-Fi hotspots so students can virtually connect with teachers from home. But thousands of students remained unconnected as the school year came to a close this spring, reflecting a digital divide — a gap between those who can participate in distance learning and those who can’t.