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FEATURE Online Learning
decided on a case-by-case basis.” —Michelle Caers, CEO, Crowdmark
“Universities should mobilize their student support resources to ensure equitable access to the tech- nology students will need to be successful. Funds that are available for need-based scholarships or grants might be used to help offset the cost of broadband access or supply hardware like laptops or modems. School counselors might be dispatched to research companies that have signed on to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Ameri- cans Connected Pledge and work individually with students who lack access to provide information about resources available from those companies.
“As days pass, continue to check in with stu- dents. They may think that their data plan and bandwidth are sufficient only to learn that once other [students and neighbors who are now re- mote workers] are all online, they are experiencing unexpected shortages or delays.” —Katherine Por- ter, faculty experience manager; Natalie Murray, VP student experience; and Joann Kozyrev, VP design and development, Western Governors University
“Faculty need to be aware of students’ ability to access the internet and not require high-band- width video or lectures in real time; this does cause an equity issue.” —John Baker, CEO, D2L
“This is a tough one. However, 81 percent of Americans own a smartphone (versus only 74 percent with a computer or laptop). Luckily, most online learning platforms now have an app that can be used on a smartphone in the case that students lack accessibility to a computer or laptop.” —Shaan Patel, founder of Prep Expert
Dian Schaffhauser is content editor for Campus Technology.
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