SAN ANTONIO – The coronavirus pandemic is shining a light on a big issue in San Antonio, the digital divide.
The San Antonio Independent School District has made big efforts to make sure every student has access to the internet and the technology needed to learn from a distance during the pandemic, but challenges remain.
SAQ: This pandemic has spotlighted the digital divide in San Antonio. How has this issue impacted students in your district?
The district’s Superintendent, Pedro Martinez, says it’s been the biggest challenge during this time. He said the district purchased 30,000 devices to conduct distance learning for just over 48,000 students. “If you do the math, there is no district in the country that I know of that has distributed that high percentage of devices,” Martinez said.
In addition, the district purchased more than 3,000 hot spots to provide internet access to students.
Despite the additional resources Martinez says he it has still been a challenge getting students to do the required coursework and perform like they would in the classroom. “What scares me is we have about 2,000 children, and that’s significantly lower from a few weeks ago, that we haven’t been able to get a hold of at all." Martinez he worries this could be due to families experiencing the loss of income or homelessness and potentially moving outside of the district.
Watch the full interview with Martinez below.
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