We hear about the digital divide and the need to close it all of the time, but what is exactly does it all mean and how can we fix it?
We know that students from lower income families are often times at a disadvantage due to a lack of access to technology. It makes succeeding in school – writing papers, conducting research, corresponding with teachers and classmates – much more difficult.
According to Project Tomorrow’s most recent national survey findings, in 6th grade, 32 percent of students lack in-home access to a tablet or laptop. The teachers we work with consistently tell us that it’s at that point in a student’s life, 5th or 6th grade, when they see engagement drop in the riskiest population.
By 12th grade, 27 percent of students still lack access. That’s why we work closely with schools around the state to not only make sure students have access to technology at school but at home also. Providing disadvantaged students with computers and teaching them the skills to effectively use technology empowers them to succeed academically and work toward higher education and career goals.
There are still thousands of kids in Minnesota who don’t have access to a computer at home – they rely on computer labs at school, which close early, or have to find a way to get to the library, where they usually have a one-hour time limit on a computer. These students need our help to take these barriers down. They deserve a fair shot at academic success.
How can you help? Check out our stories from our incentive-based programs to see how we’re working with schools to reward students with their own laptops. Or, if you want to fund a computer for an at-risk student involved with one of our incentive-based programs, it only costs $250. Simply click here to make a donation.