At LocknCharge we recognise the fact that in schools budget issues are a huge concern. Finding solutions within educational establishments that maximise these budgets, or help to protect what the school has already in place, is an important part of what we do.
However reading a recent article written by Zendaya, an American actress and singer, about the digital divide across the USA in particular, it fully re-iterated how important this actually is in real life educational examples. And this is not just the case within the USA. It occurs in the UK too, and in many if not all countries where state education is offered freely.
Zendaya noticed that her father, who worked in a private school, had far more resources than her mother, who taught in a public classroom less than a mile away.
The injustice she felt in that your area code and amount of income your parents make determines your level of education drove her to become the voice of the #weneedmore campaign, which provides free technology, access, and learning opportunities to children in underserved schools and communities across the country.
As part of the campaign, a new film has been aired – Without a Net: The Digital Divide in America. This film documents the journey schools have to go through. Their fight, for example, just to get a working internet connection and the hardware to use it. Or the frustration when teachers are not able to use devices.
In the film, teachers and administrators have to improvise in order to provide some form of digital technology to their students. They move slowly through lessons so that every student’s tablet can catch up. They share devices with other classrooms, which limits how much time can be spent on any given task.
What Zendaya says is that she really wants all children — not just the privileged — to have access to life-changing technology in their classroom.
“I’m pro young people following their dreams and doing what makes them happy,” she says. “The point is to allow every child the equal ability to choose what their path is.”
Multi Device Charging Stations for Schools
LocknCharge’s innovative basket designs and multi device charging stations were developed to give schools the ability with their devices to be both portable and easy to deploy to multiple students when necessary, and in cases like the above this is critical in ensuring quick deployment – in order to maximise students time with the digital resources they have. The fact the units can also be charged and stored safely, free from the risk of vandalism or theft is also a huge benefit to schools that have limited budget or resource.
Despite the negatives in the story above, the positive that can be taken from this article and movement is that the awareness of these types of issues is being brought to the forefront of educators and people’s minds. According to EducationSuperHighway’s second annual report on the state of broadband connectivity in America’s public schools, an additional 30.9 million students gained access to the broadband they needed for digital learning in the last three years. In addition, 88% of school districts are now ready for digital learning. And this in a digital world can only mean more equality and opportunity for students.