If you are reading this, you’re probably just like me- fortunate. We have this new world of technology right at our fingertips. Many of you are probably reading this off your smart phone or laptop with out even realizing how lucky you are to have access to those items, or even just internet connection in general. How often do you even have to worry about how you’re going to check twitter or Facebook or whatever social media you love to use? Probably never. Much less having to worry about how to do your online homework assignments.
Consider yourself very lucky.
In a New York Times article by Cecilia Kang, she talks about how 70% of teachers in k-12 now assign homework online. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many of us, but this is a huge problem to many students. As Kang says, one third of students in grades K-12 have no access to the internet from home. Where these statistics overlap is called the homework gap. The homework gap is the struggle students face when having to complete homework when they have no internet access at home. This is a new concept that has been formed from the growing digital divide.
So what does this mean for those students? Well, for children like Isabella and Tony Ruiz it means standing outside of your school to try to connect to it’s internet connection to do as much homework as you can. it means other students have go to the nearest McDonalds or Starbucks to connect to their free internet connection. It means taking the longest route home on the school bus so these students can use the bus’ wifi to turn in homework assignments. It means maybe not even being able to turn in some homework assignment, at least not on time. It means a huge set back for the 33% of kids who don’t have the luxury of doing these assignments at home.
Jessica Rosenworcel makes a speech about the homework gap for CUE and addresses these issues.
There is a huge positive correlation between being eligible for free reduced lunch and having internet access at home. At my high school, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, 36% of students were eligible for free or reduced lunch, meaning many of these students probably could not afford to have internet connection at school. I personally saw many student having to use the school’s computers to do or complete homework. Though, in fact, 100% of public schools have computers and give students access to the internet, this is not enough. Many schools, like mine, only give students an hour or two before and after school to use these computers. And even though all public schools have computers there are two main problems many schools face. One, there is an uneven number of students per computer, not allowing all students to be able to use a computer. And two, the broad band internet connection at many schools is too slow.
As many people now realize there is a huge need for a change.
listen how you can make a change in my podcast below: