Laptop Delays, Zoom Glitches, Equity Gaps: Remote Learning Faces Big Challenges
August 31, 2020
The Leander school district, near Austin, Texas, was set to start the school year with full-time remote learning on Aug. 13, but ended up delaying until the following week after a web content filtering tool malfunctioned, potentially preventing some high school students from connecting to the internet on their school-provided devices.
A couple hours' drive away, the San Antonio district had distributed 30,000 Chromebooks to K-3 students in early April. But the district eventually determined that tablets work better for younger students, so it ordered a bundle using state funds and is now in the process of swapping them out, leaving the Chromebooks as surplus.
The Indianapolis school district sent surveys to parents between April and July, gauging whether or not they had broadband service at home. But it later became clear that some parents who answered "yes" didn't have a connection at home that was strong enough to support two or three children at once, especially if parents were also working remotely.