It’s hard to do homework when you don’t have a computer at home. It’s even harder if you don’t have internet access.
Most high schoolers in North Carolina will go back to school in the next few weeks – and 11,000 of them will get smartphones, tablets or hotspot devices to use this school year from Sprint.
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Students will be able to take home the smartphones and tablets to work on school assignments for all four years of high school. The smartphones can be used as a hotspot to provide wireless internet to a laptop or other device the students may have at home.
This academic year, the 1Million Project is giving devices to 180,000 students in more than 30 states. Up to a million high schoolers will have access to wireless internet at home during the five-year program, which kicks off today.
Business Wire has reported that eight North Carolina schools districts are participating:
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools, 4,000 devices
- Guilford County Public Schools, 2,500 devices
- Winston-Salem Forsyth County Public Schools, 1,400 devices
- Cumberland County Public Schools, 1,180 devices
- Buncombe County Schools, 700 devices
- Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, 638 devices
- Rockingham County Public Schools, 323 devices
- Pitt County Schools, 306 devices
“It’s a game changer for our county and for our students,” said Kevin Coleman, executive director of technology for Cumberland County Public Schools.
Coleman said it’s a struggle to ensure that all students have internet access at home.
“Education now is digital,” Coleman said. “We’ve always tried to provide quality devices at the school level. When it comes to sending students home, to do work, they don’t have access other students may have. It creates a homework divide. We have to make sure we do all we can to level the playing ground.”
The Cumberland County system will distribute devices to students in 16 high schools as early as September.
To address the needs of all Cumberland students who do not have connectivity, the district is giving 700 upgraded school laptops to students who do not have a laptop and internet at home. The laptops will be replaced with new ones at the schools.
To donate to the Sprint 1Million project, you can visit www.sprint.com/give1mp. Sprint is accepting donations of used mobile devices at Sprint stores. The devices will be recycled or resold to benefit the project.
For more information, visit the project site.