Schools across the nation are closing in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and in the scramble to provide at-home learning, a major problem has risen to the forefront: millions of American students don’t have reliable access to the internet.
According to recent federal data, approximately 14 percent of U.S. families with school-age children lack high-speed internet. Most of those families are low-income or live in rural areas. While there are plenty of best practice guides available for online learning, strategies for bridging the digital divide are scarce.
We asked the MindShift community to share how they’re addressing the issue and what strategies, tips or activities might they have to do distance learning with students who only have access to cellphones and limited data or internet.
Here’s what they shared, plus a few more tips we’ve found that can even be implemented today. Comments have been edited for brevity, clarity and comprehension.
During this time of distance learning, students may feel isolated or lonely. Contacting them as often as you can — by email, comments on their work or phone — can make a huge difference, especially for those students without internet access. When in doubt over-communicate, but also maintain boundaries to avoid burnout.