Arizona’s vision is for schools statewide to have scalable, affordable and reliable internet access. With access to high-speed broadband, students can take remote classes and receive digital learning opportunities that they never knew existed. Educators will be able to dramatically enhance their professional development capabilities and communities will be transformed by the cultural and economic benefits of simply being connected to the Internet.
Arizona Broadband Initiative
Arizona E-Rate Program
The E-Rate Program is a national program offered by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), which administers the Universal Service Fund on behalf of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). As an independent not-for-profit under the guidance of the FCC, USAC's mission is to bring the high-speed Internet (broadband) to areas of the country underserved by existing utilities. The Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) Program helps schools and libraries connect to broadband Internet and voice services at discounted rates.
Rural and Urban Digital Divide
The 2020-2021 school year disrupted this basic process for learning attainment as the schoolhouse was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, remote learning, by necessity, became the most prevalent form of accessing instruction. This was a major shift in education, unseen by the vast majority of educators, which has now required that students get to school by setting up their electronic devices and signing in online. For students living in rural areas of the state, access to remote learning has been an extreme challenge and, in many cases, impossible. To begin to assess these issues a group of rural educators got together and created a white paper about the pandemic and the digital divide in rural Arizona. Click the link below for more information.
Rural and Urban Digital Divide
eduroam (education roaming) is the secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community and is available in over 100 countries. eduroam allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity across campus and when visiting other participating institutions by simply opening their laptop. In the US, more than 900 institutions have deployed eduroam and have made the offering available to their staff, students, faculty, and researchers. Thanks to our partners at the Arizona Sun Corridor Network, Arizona’s public schools, public libraries and museums can help bridge the digital divide for their students through by participating in a free eduroam Support Organization.
Parent Technology Toolkit
We know the distance-learning environment has been challenging to navigate. You likely have questions about how best to support your child’s academic success. To help parents shape summer learning plans, Learning Heroes has updated their Summer Parent-Teacher Planning Tool. They also encourage parents to use the Readiness Check to see how their child is doing with key math and reading skills needed for next school year. For districts, schools, and educator-facing organizations, Learning Heroes created an End of Year Parent Teacher Planning Tool that helps teachers connect with parents.
Parent Distance Learning Kit