Widespread online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that millions of students nationwide lack access to the internet. Today, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) announced a new partnership to address this digital divide, commonly known as the “homework gap,” with Kajeet®, a leading provider of broadband service and connected devices that deliver safe, reliable, and education-managed internet connectivity to students in primary, secondary, and post-secondary education.
“When the pandemic hit, public school educators and leaders worked quickly to provide tablets, laptops, other devices to their students, but those devices can only go so far if students lack internet access in their homes,” said Chip Slaven, interim Executive Director and CEO of NSBA. “Even today—a year and a half after the pandemic hit—as many as 17 million students—one third of the K-12 student population—may still lack internet access in their homes. Closing this digital divide is essential to transform public schools and ensure that students are successful in the future.”
Preparing all students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in today’s information- and technology-driven world has long been a focus of NSBA. COVID-19 dramatically changed how we use technology in education, making online access not only an educational enhancement but a necessity for day-to-day learning and engagement. Native American students, students with disabilities, students of color, and students living in rural, remote, or high-cost areas are being hit the hardest by the lack of adequate devices or broadband access. Research shows that 34 percent of Native American students, 31 percent of Latino students, and 31 percent of Black students lack high-speed internet access, compared to 21 percent of white students.
“Kajeet was founded on the belief that education is a civil right and critical to a secure, competitive, and just nation,” said Daniel J. W. Neal, chairman, CEO and founder of Kajeet. “Kajeet is proud to partner with NSBA to support digital inclusion and ensure that every student has reliable, online access everywhere they learn.”
For more than ten years, Kajeet has been delivering innovative, education-focused technology and wireless solutions that enable schools, educators, and students to remain connected. Today, nearly 3,000 school districts and libraries in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and the United Kingdom, rely on Kajeet to deliver safe and managed Wi-Fi hotspots, school bus Wi-Fi, and LTE-embedded mobile devices, such as Chromebooks.