New Jersey Makes Gains In Closing Digital Divide In Schools, But Some Students Still Struggle To Log On
Weeks into the academic year, state education officials in New Jersey still can’t account for the number of students unable to get online for remote learning, which is playing a critical role during the pandemic. Despite strides made in the last few months, they also don’t have a full picture on the number of families who have a device or those struggling to stay reliably connected.
“The state just has to accept that internet connectivity at home now has to be part of a free, public education,” said David Sciarra, executive director of the Education Law Center, a Newark-based nonprofit that advocates for school equity. “We have to make sure that every kid has this, whether or not they can afford it.”
Sciarra said it’s hard for the state to fix a problem without updated information because closing the digital divide is more than just giving every student a device.
Whether you agree with the idea of reopening schools or not, distance learning will soon be the norm. The old-fashioned educational system of long days, crowded classrooms and antiquated expensive textbooks will become a thing of the past as parents and students adjust to the changing mode of education. Everyone must embrace the fact that this will be a turbulent academic season.
As parents, we must adjust our traditional thinking and adapt to a changing narrative about education and the outlook for career prospects for our children. Honestly, many of the professions and business models that we once wanted for our children may be gone, and many will never return — especially with major brick-and-mortar operations, which are barely holding on during this retail apocalypse.
Related: How Remote Education Is Evolving During the Crisis
With most K-12 schools across the country