Above Photo: Zapatista mural A Zapatista mural in the town of San Pedro Polhó illustrates ideas about education. Dario Ribelo on Flicker.
When families with students enrolled at Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation can’t afford Internet access, the cyber school provides affordable solutions through Mobile Citizen. According to Technology Coordinator Micheal Tambellini, the number of families requiring connectivity assistance is growing.
“We have a small percentage of homeless students enrolled today, and unfortunately that number seems to be increasing,” he said. “To keep up with the curriculum, they need the same Internet access as all of our other cyber students.”
Because the school operates 100 percent online, significant data is required to foster its interactive learning environment. Throttling data at 6GB, as Sprint will do after the Nov. 6 shutdown of its WiMAX network, will render the curriculum useless to families receiving access through Mobile Citizen.
“Many years ago, when everything we did was HTML-based, a slower service more comparable with dial-up was fine,” Tambellini said. “Today, every student uses more than 6GB every month so clearly something so basic is no longer feasible for our students.”
If the shutdown occurs as planned, the cyber school will face a major challenge in keeping its most vulnerable students connected.
“When families who do not have, or cannot afford, Internet enroll, we need a solution for them. Free or affordable broadband Internet offered by companies such as Mobile Citizen is critical.”
If you think students at Central Pennsylvania Digital Learning Foundation and 428 other schools across the country deserve affordable broadband access, please sign our petition.