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Coronavirus pandemic not only resulted in closure of multibillion businesses but also schools globally. School systems scrambled, and everyone, including educators and parents, got into a panic mode. There was a need to act immediately to enable students to carry on with their learning.

The only solution was transitioning students to distance learning, which would require the use of internet and laptops. However, there was another looming problem; not all students have the technology they need to stay connected to learning. For many Americans, broadband internet is a basic thing, but unfortunately, close to 9 million children do not have access to it. 

Easing the Burden for Unconnected Families by the Government 

Eighth-grade students lacking access to the internet were the most affected. The fact that they were already more than two years behind made it even worse, and what followed was another three months’ additional gap occasioned by COVID-19.

However, the gaps can still be reduced according to the Urban Institute. Elimination of the homework gap is the first step to ensuring that every student has justifiable access to remote-learning. It could be challenging to connect all the students remotely, but Evan Marwell, CEO of EducationSuperHighway, says it is not impossible.

How Can The Connectivity Issues Be Resolved? 

Marvel says there are four things to address before a solution can be realized. Defining the problem, connecting service providers, transitioning devices from the classroom to students, and getting all the policies right.

As coronavirus continues to threaten learning activities, the immediate solution could be short-term broadband. However, in the long run, advanced but affordable connectivity using mobile-learning applications will help.

Currently, the next school year is marred with a lot of uncertainty as the numbers of infections continue to escalate by the day. Students and educators may not return to full-time classroom any time soon. Hundreds of parents may not also be very comfortable releasing their children back to class.

Owing to this, there is a high likelihood that many districts will adopt a blend of in-person and distance learning. All in all, careful planning is required.