Re: “First day of no school: How Washington school districts are responding to coronavirus closures” [March 16, Northwest]:
What happens to a society when learning comes to a halt because the minority can’t access it? How do we handle this digital divide?
In the next few weeks, I’ll be moving my classes online. Other teachers say we should all use Zoom. I do think that consistency across classes will support student success. I’m not using Zoom. I’m not going to assume that my students have enough data to access the technology required for that. What I am going to assume based on my history of working with this population is that most of them will be accessing the class on their phone, they’ll be sharing their data load with other people, and their Wi-Fi connection will be the most inexpensive option.
I won’t be requiring them to view extensive videos or to be online at a dedicated time. I believe that the best thing that I can do for my students is to offer minimally technical classes, a consistent schedule and a complete understanding of the challenges they face.
The digital divide isn’t going anywhere. How we handle it will say a lot about us.
Meg Connelly, Bothell