Virginia Tech: Enhanced map shows broadband coverage in Virginia

Virginia Tech: Enhanced map shows broadband coverage in Virginia. “Virginia Tech’s Center for Geospatial Information Technology (CGIT), working in tandem with the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s Office of Broadband, has developed and launched an enhanced mapping tool to narrow the digital divide across the commonwealth. The Commonwealth Connection mapping tool, which provides more timely and accurate information on where high-speed internet service is available in Virginia, will allow state officials as well as consumers to determine where reliable broadband access exists — and where it is lacking.”

StateTech: North Carolina Unveils Digital Equity Office to Help Close Divide

StateTech: North Carolina Unveils Digital Equity Office to Help Close Divide. “Earlier this month, Gov. Roy Cooper today unveiled a new Office of Digital Equity and Literacy, which will spearhead efforts to execute on Cooper’s plan to use about $1.2 billion in American Rescue Plan funds to close the digital divide in the state by 2025. The office will be part of the state’s recently created Division of Broadband and Digital Equity within the North Carolina Department of Information Technology.”

Mashable: How to help slash your community’s digital divide in education

Mashable: How to help slash your community’s digital divide in education. “Before COVID-19 hit, 30 percent of K-12 public school students lived in homes without internet connections or devices they could use for remote learning, according to an analysis of the most recent data, from 2018, from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Education Statistics. But the pandemic has brought this issue into stark contrast, because some students have stable home internet and others don’t, says Katrina Stevens, who worked on best practices in digital learning in the Obama administration and is president of the Tech interactive, a family-friendly science and technology center.”

IT Pro Today: Responsibly Recycling Computers in the Age of COVID-19

IT Pro Today: Responsibly Recycling Computers in the Age of COVID-19. “Typically, companies pay certified recyclers to take their used electronic devices, which then recover some rare-earth metals and remove some toxic parts from them before sending what remains to landfills. There are many nonprofit organizations, however, that will take used computers and laptops, replace any failed or failing parts, install a new operating system (usually a desktop Linux distribution but sometimes Windows) after wiping the hard drive, and give them new life with students, seniors or economically distressed families – which keeps them out of landfills for another five years or so. This can be a win-win for companies, because by doing so they not only avoid the expense of the traditional recycling process, but also pick up a tax deduction in the process – while helping alleviate the digital divide that’s been rapidly growing during the pandemic.”

USA Today: A year into the pandemic, thousands of students still can’t get reliable WiFi for school. The digital divide remains worse than ever.

USA Today: A year into the pandemic, thousands of students still can’t get reliable WiFi for school. The digital divide remains worse than ever.. “In Los Angeles, special education teacher Jaime Lozano strives to keep the attention of his elementary students during online classes. But no matter the charisma he brings to the screen, it’s no match for glitchy internet connections. Every day, about a third of his students experience an outage that cuts into their learning time, Lozano said. Nearly all of his students are from low-income families, and many can’t afford wired, broadband service.”

Daily Herald Business Ledger: Pandemic internet aid is ending, but digital divide remains

Daily Herald Business Ledger: Pandemic internet aid is ending, but digital divide remains. “Earlier this year, to help students and teachers finish the disrupted school year online, Charter, Comcast, AT&T and others began providing free internet. They also pledged not to cut off service or charge late fees to customers struggling financially because of the pandemic. Now, several of those programs are set to end in the coming weeks — a looming expiration that, if left unaddressed, threatens to unravel a precarious thread of the social safety net at a particularly difficult time for many American families.”