This content was originally created by Nicol Turner Lee on Brookings.
With education going virtual to protect students and educators from Covid-19, the adverse effects the digital divide has on school-age children can be felt in disadvantaged communities with limited or no access to home broadband. While parents of disadvantaged students have tried to give their kids access by driving up to “digital parking lots” and areas with free public access Wi-Fi on the premises of closed schools and libraries, more concrete solutions are needed to bridge the digital divide.
Bridging the digital divide requires close collaboration between schools and local community organizations, including non-profit and faith-based organizations, and businesses as well as government bodies. With support of local government bodies, empty local establishments and unused can be used for classrooms through partnerships or one-time tax credits. School buses can be used to provide Wi-Fi access in parking areas of disadvantages areas. Non-profit and faith-based organizations with help from local government bodies can help in spreading digital literacy.