Special Report

K-12 Connectivity Challenges Now and After COVID-19

March 10, 2021
A team of people build a path across the digital divide.
The massive shift to remote and hybrid learning during COVID-19 exposed wide gaps in students’ access to broadband and quality online learning materials. Schools have made big investments over the past year in laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other tech infrastructure to try to bridge those gaps. But problems are likely to persist even as students return to school buildings. The gaps in access, especially at home, between wealthy and poor students appear to be widening, and there are big differences in the quality of learning experiences based on connectivity challenges.

This special report examines what steps school districts, states, and the federal government are taking to improve internet access for all students, now and for the future.
A team of people build a path across the digital divide.
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
Cupped hands hold a precious wi-fi symbol
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and Digital Vision Vectors/Getty
Internet connectivity doesn't reach all the houses
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
This "heat map" generated by GIS technology uses progressively darker colors to illustrate the areas of Palm Beach County with the highest concentrations of families who lack home internet access.
Courtesy of Donna Goldstein