A Canyons District technology check-out program for students in need has proven popular, especially as students turn their attention to at-home learning during the temporary dismissal of classes to slow the local COVID-19 infection rate.
The District’s “Bridging the Digital Divide” program is so popular, in fact, that Canyons’ Information Technology Department has loaned out the initiative’s entire stock of Chromebooks and filtered WiFi Internet hotspots.
To date, some 550 devices and hotspots have been loaned to students who demonstrated a need, says IT Director Scot McCombs. Community surveys suggest that up to 15 percent of Canyons District students do not have devices or Internet access at home to complete online assignments.
The District is working on providing additional hotspots to low-income students. More information about that effort is forthcoming.
McCombs’ department also this week is sending a survey to parents, asking about family technology needs (see link below). The data will be used to inform decisions about purchases for CSD's technology-checkout efforts.
CSD invites all families to submit their responses to the survey so the District can help provide learning opportunities at home for all students.
“We talk about how the printing press changed history and democratized how people access knowledge,” McCombs said. “Today, the Internet is how we access information, and to deny some students that access is just wrong.”