Our lack of will to expand broadband access has left millions of students disconnected during closures

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As schools close and students and teachers are forced to improvise ways to do distance learning, it’s exposing a big fault line in our society: our refusal to guarantee every household internet access. Over the course of the past two weeks, all but three states have announced a statewide closure of schools. As districts and teachers struggle to come up with viable distance learning plans, they do so knowing that their best laid plans will likely still leave approximately seven million children without the ability to “go to school” for the rest of the year. Why? Because those students don’t have broadband at home. Read Full Story

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Apple, Google, and Microsoft are failing U.S. students during the COVID-19 crisis

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With their cash on hand, the tech companies could buy every student in America eight laptops. In the midst of COVID-19, schools across the country have closed their doors, and a majority of the 50 million K-12 students are now learning from home. For many, that means logging on to laptops to teleconference teachers who take digital attendance, then accessing lessons and homework to do on their own. Read Full Story

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Remote learning doesn’t have to be awful. Here’s what actually works

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As more and more schools go remote, getting digital learning right is imperative. Teachers and remote learning experts share what they know works and what they’re planning for the coming school year. This story is part of Fast Company ‘s Reinventing Education package. As millions of students begin school during a deadly pandemic and global recession, we’re highlighting the ongoing efforts to keep children safe in the classroom, educate them remotely, and help their parents manage a new second shift. Click here to read the whole series. Read Full Story

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Schools are prepping for coronavirus quarantines by leaning into remote learning

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The potential for long-term school closures is boosting edtech companies—though some closed schools are just using Google Hangouts. When a high school student at Jackson High School in Washington State tested positive for the new coronavirus, the school became one of the first in the U.S. to temporarily close because of the illness while the campus underwent cleaning and disinfecting. With a looming possibility of longer closures, some other schools are preparing by turning to edtech. Around the rest of the world, millions of students are already relying on remote meeting technology as they spend weeks in quarantine. Read Full Story

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4 ways we can ensure remote learning is actually effective

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The pandemic’s disruption to the 2020-2021 school year provides an opportunity to help remote education reach its fullest potential. Many of the nation’s 57 million K-12 students will spend at least part of the 2020-2021 school year either dealing with distance learning or a hybrid model that keeps them out of classrooms several days a week. They’ll spend lots of time using teleconferencing software, with teachers either convening classes live or prerecording lessons. Read Full Story

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Racial stereotypes can color how teachers view students’ technology use

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A UC Berkeley researcher found that giving all students Wi-Fi still won’t end a more insidious kind of digital divide. Schools that rely on remote learning during the pandemic are trying to ensure that all kids have the devices and internet bandwidth they need. While important, it takes more than everyone having comparable equipment and working Wi-Fi for all children to get an equal shot. Read Full Story

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These are the most innovative education companies of 2020

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Why Teachable, ImmSchools, Duolingo, and Everfi are among our top education companies of 2020. This year’s most innovative education companies are doing their part to level the playing field, from SV Academy’s tuition-free technology training for job seekers, to Saga Education’s free tutors in underserved public schools, to EdNavigator’s educational counseling and planning. At a time when student debt has passed $1.6 trillion (and solutions still feel far off), these companies are offering low- or no-cost assistance to teachers, students, and parents, in the form of planning, resources, and advice. Read Full Story

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Zoom is failing teachers. Here’s how they would redesign it

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Millions of students are learning through Zoom this fall. So why does it still feel like a corporate meeting app that has been MacGyvered into an education platform? This story is part of Fast Company’s Reinventing Education package. As millions of students begin school during a deadly pandemic and global recession, we’re highlighting the ongoing efforts to keep children safe in the classroom, educate them remotely, and help their parents manage a new second shift. Click here to read the whole series. Read Full Story

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How the telephone became the first great remote-learning technology

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Long before Zoom’s moment during the COVID-19 pandemic, kids stuck at home needed to keep their education going. And they did—thanks to the “teach-a-phone.” As a pandemic rages, schools across the U.S. have shut down, and students are struggling to continue their education at home. In Long Beach, California, a group of high schoolers is among the first to cleverly commandeer a popular piece of technology to regain communication with their teachers. Read Full Story

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