Rural eLearning and the Digital Divide

The coronavirus has shutdown schools across the country and highlighted the need for quality internet access for rural America. This has exposed the incredible digital divide in education for rural communities.

While government funding has allowed disadvantaged students to have devices to learn from home and internet providers offer free Wi-Fi for education, accessing the internet is still a hinderance in their learning, due to coverage maps. According to Will Lockert, the Assistant Director for the Cheatham County School District in Tennessee, “We are giving our students access to devices, but they are handcuffed because of the [internet] access they don’t have at home.”

Teachers are making strides to accommodate all students and work vigorously to continue to educate their students. Jennifer Wright states, “It’s the limbo, if we go further. How are we going to make this learning experience valuable for our student.”

According to the USDA, 80% of 24 million homes in America do not have access to proper and affordable internet.