Rural Schools Pays For Home Internet For Students

Rural Schools Pays For Home Internet For Students

Using Grant Money, Piedmont City School District Revolutionized Learning At Home For Students

It is the dream of the future of education: each student has their own internet-capable device and is able to connect to a network of their teachers and peers so they do not have to do their homework alone. It doesn’t sound too unrealistic – but for students in Piedmont City School District, this dream had a rocky start.

To utilize the technology available to them so they could best serve their students, teachers took advantage of a program called mPower Piedmont that enabled them to send their students home with internet-capable devices. Some students, however, did not have Internet access at their homes and were consequently inconvenienced when trying to do their homework. Local businesses worked with the school to create Internet hotspots around town, but younger students without transportation options still were unable to complete their tasks. When the Piedmont superintendent found students doing homework on the steps of the school so they could use the Wi-Fi, he knew it was time to make a change.

With grant money, the school partnered with a vendor and the city to build a wireless network on existing fiber optic cables that allowed all students access to the Internet. The program currently costs the district $10,000 a month, or 3% of its budget, but the district believes this program is their key to revolutionizing learning for their students.

Their hard work and investment earned the Piedmont City School District a place in Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools. Their efforts have closed the learning gap that could potentially arise from differences in family income, giving each student in the district their best chance at educational success.

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