The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the digital divide affecting millions of American families, especially those in low-income households and rural areas. One of the most pernicious challenges is the “homework gap”—the divide between those students who have reliable access to computers and high-speed Internet access in their homes and those who do not. This divide makes it difficult for many children to complete their schoolwork and connect with their teachers and classmates during a typical school year, and the pandemic has amplified these problems putting them at risk of falling even further behind. What can policymakers do to close the homework gap and provide K-12 students the connectivity and access to computing they need to succeed? And looking beyond the pandemic, what needs to change so that personalized, online learning is a core component of public education?
ITIF hosted a webinar featuring remarks by FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, followed by a panel discussion about what policymakers should do to provide more technological innovation in the classroom.