Survey: Share your opinion, help to close homework gap
Roanoke Electric Co-op knows that lack of adequate internet access at home can make it a challenge for our youth to be the best students they can be. Today's digital learning tools require access to technology, both at home as well as in schools, in both rural and urban communities. Unfortunately, those living in rural areas often lack access to the quality internet technology commonly available to those living in cities and more densely populated communities. Bridging this "digital divide" plaguing rural communities is a crucial need for all Americans regardless of where they live, as the issue affects the overall economic wellbeing of the country.
By offering Roanoke Connect internet service to co-op member-owners, the co-op is working to address the issue of much-needed access to broadband technology in our region's schools, homes and businesses. For co-op member-owners with school-aged children, broadband access can help to close the "homework gap" that puts rural students at a learning disadvantage by not having the digital tools and internet study capabilities available to them at home. However, as with all problems created by the lack of broadband, closing the homework gap for rural students across the country will require the focused effort of all Americans, particularly its elected leaders.
As part of its ongoing effort to raise awareness and work with citizens, community partners and policymakers to find solutions, Roanoke Electric Co-op is joining North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives to promote the national Speak Up survey. This survey, part of the Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning, facilitated by Project Tomorrow®, gives all citizens the opportunity to share their viewpoints about key educational issues, particularly those concerning digital learning and the use of technology to support students and prepare them for the future in a world driven by technology.
Co-op member-owners and community partners are all vested in quality education in our region and beyond. By participating in the survey, you are ensuring your voice is heard by your school and district, as well as by your elected leaders.The survey findings and results are summarized and shared with national and state policy makers every year. In North Carolina, the Broadband Infrastructure Office will use data from the survey to measure the size, scope and causes of the state's homework gap so that solutions can be devised.
The co-op encourages you to share your viewpoints on the importance of making digital learning and technology available in all facets of life for those living in rural communities, by taking the survey at https://speakup.tomorrow.org/ . Questions four through six are related to lack of access to high quality broadband and the homework gap. If your time is limited, you may select your child’s school and answer those questions specific to the importance of internet access enabling digital learning and technology for students at home and in schools.
The survey closes Jan. 31. Participating schools and districts can access their local data online, free-of-charge in February 2019.
Speak Up is both a national research project and a free service to all schools and districts. To learn more, visit the About Speak Up page.