With the internet playing such a vital role in our lives these days, access to everyone’s favorite series of tubes can mean the difference between personal success and lost opportunity. This is especially true for our students, many of whom have difficulties accessing the internet at home.
Now, thanks to a new initiative by the NYC Department of Education, the Fund for Public Schools, Sprint, and the Sprint Foundation’s 1Million Project, thousands of City high school students are about to gain free high speed internet access.
This year, each of the 30,775 students who attend 66 of the City’s 227 Community Schools will receive a free wireless device; these devices can be used to access the internet directly or be converted into mobile hotspots that provide wireless internet access to nearby smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices. This initiative builds on existing partnerships the DOE has with the City’s libraries, Google, and Sprint to provide Wi-Fi hotspots to public school families.
“Over 30,000 high school students will use this internet access to complete homework assignments, study, and do independent research and reading,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña when announcing this initiative. “I thank Sprint, the Sprint Foundation and the Fund for Public Schools for making this possible, and I look forward to seeing how schools, students, and families use this resource to strengthen learning.”
“Millions of families across the country lack internet access in their homes, but 70 percent of America’s high school teachers assign homework that requires online connectivity,” said Doug Michelman, president of Sprint’s 1Million Project. “It’s not right that so many kids should have to struggle to do their work and reach their potential, and that’s why we are committed to doing what we can to help level the playing field for students here in New York and in high schools all across the U.S.”
Students will be able to use the devices to complete assignments, study, and do research outside of school hours. Each student will receive 3GB of high-speed LTE data per month, and unlimited data is available at 2G speed if usage exceeds 3GB in a month.
The devices will be distributed this fall during family nights and other parent-facing school events. Students will be able keep the devices while they are attending high school.
The 66 participating high schools include 23 in the Bronx, 24 in Brooklyn, nine in Manhattan, nine in Queens, and one on Staten Island. Each of these schools will provide students and parents with information about using the device and support throughout the school year.
To learn more about this initiative, visit our website.