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Provide Ubiquitous Internet Access at Home and School

In October 2014, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights reported that access to technology is an important component of equity within U.S. schools. Given the amount of time students spend outside of school, there are concerns about a “homework gap” between students whose home internet connections are slow or nonexistent and students who have access to high-speed internet service. In this era of digital learning, schools and districts must look beyond the responsibility of connecting schools and students to high-quality internet and toward the next challenge of connecting all students to internet access outside of the school building. Teachers increasingly assign homework that requires internet access, and not being able to take advantage of online resources for that homework equates to not having a textbook. When students lack high-speed internet outside of school walls, the digital resources that serve to close opportunity gaps, such as online tutorials, widen those gaps. Therefore, schools must take steps to leverage existing technological resources and programs to increase off-campus connectivity.