By Mike Katz, Executive Vice President, T-Mobile for Business
T-Mobile and Sprint have helped connect over 500,000 students across more than 820 schools and school districts nationwide in the last month alone.
Como más de 55 millones de niños no pueden asistir a clases debido a la histórica medida para contener la COVID-19, las escuelas están luchando por encontrar formas de mantener la educación de los estudiantes mediante recursos por Internet y la nueva aula digital. I’ve seen some incredibly creative and heartwarming ways schools have come together recently – like these talented kids performing a concert remotely and a Dean streaming the morning announcements, to keep a semblance of routine during this ‘new normal.’
But, without access to a computer and an internet connection, millions of kids will miss out on opportunities to learn, and even the basic ability to stay in touch with classmates and friends. Se estima que 18 millones de niños en edad escolar no tienen Internet en su casa. In normal times, this has a huge impact on their ability to learn, but in times when the classroom moves entirely online, it’s debilitating for their learning and their future. And that’s not ok.
I’m heartened by the incredible work being done around the country in real-time, as schools, administrators, teachers, and businesses come together to form solutions quickly for these kids. At new T-Mobile, I’m incredibly proud of the work this combined company has done, working around the clock with districts across the country. We’ve temporarily increased data allowances for schools and students in our T-Mobile EmpowerED program and the 1Million Project Foundation to ensure each participant has the connectivity they need. And, we’ve been working in partnership with other companies and providing more flexible service options to get mass connectivity solutions in place for students. Sprint también brindará financiación y recursos adicionales a 1Million Project Foundation a medida que aumente la demanda de soluciones de conectividad gratis.
In the last month, our teams have helped over 500,000 students across more than 820 schools and school districts nationwide get connectivity solutions in place.
Connecting Students Across the Country
T-Mobile is working with some of the largest school districts in the country to quickly get internet access to students in need. When DC Public Schools closed, they quickly implemented a plan to distribute laptops for students to access schoolwork from home. The T-Mobile for Education team helped by providing 5,000 hotspots to students who lacked adequate internet access at home.
And in the Seattle area, which was hit hard by COVID-19, the Northshore school district was one of the first in the nation to attempt to solve the issue of the digital divide in the current climate. There, school administrators sprang into action, and with T-Mobile for Education, provided 850 hotspots to those students without connectivity when schools closed down, setting a standard of care for the entire nation.
"Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and school closures, our district took steps to mitigate the inequity with regards to technology access to every student, including computing devices and hotspots at home," said Northshore Superintendent Michelle Reid, Ed.D. "We are so grateful to T-Mobile and for the support of our voters who approved our Technology Levy so when the COVID-19 outbreak forced the closure of our schools, our families were ready with connectivity. Sin embargo, nosotros, como educadores, seguimos teniendo desigualdad en materia de tecnología e Internet en toda nuestra región y todo el país; por lo tanto, es fundamental que continuemos este diálogo para garantizar que el lugar de residencia de nuestros estudiantes no determine el acceso al aprendizaje digital".
Las escuelas de zonas rurales son aún más desfavorecidas, ya que hay una cantidad desmesurada de estudiantes sin acceso a Internet. Esto incluye al Distrito de Escuelas Públicas del Condado de Frederick en Maryland, donde muchas familias no tienen acceso a Internet adecuado en sus casas. T-Mobile for Education was able to help quickly provision more than 1,000 hotspots for kids who didn't have internet at home.
And in San Francisco, one of the first areas in the country to receive a stay-in-place order, the Mayor turned to organizations like the 1Million Project Foundation to fuel an innovative new approach to keeping students connected. Beginning the week of April 13, Wi-Fi SuperSpots will be placed in front of apartment complexes and other high-density areas throughout the city to ensure San Francisco students stay connected.
From 1 Million to 10 Million
I’m honored to work alongside the passionate and dedicated teams on T-Mobile for Education, EmpowerED, Sprint, and the 1Million Project Foundation as we continue to amp efforts to connect masses of schools, educators, and students across the country. El Proyecto 1 Millones ya conectó a 350,000 estudiantes de escuelas secundarias de todo el país con acceso a Internet gratis en sus casas y esta iniciativa se amplió para incluir a los estudiantes de escuelas primarias y medias en este momento crítico. And with new T-Mobile, we have the scale and financial firepower to build off the success of the 1Million Project Foundation by rolling out even larger initiatives like Project 10Million – designed to help eradicate the homework gap for millions of kids, coming later this year. Hasta entonces, haremos lo posible por conectar a tantos estudiantes como sea posible durante este momento sin precedentes.
Hardworking and dedicated education professionals all across the country are giving it their all to meet this urgent need. And new T-Mobile is giving it our all to be there for them during this time of need.
Cuídate. Mantente a salvo. Y permanece conectado.
For more information on how T-Mobile for Education can connect your school, head here.