74ºF

How Detroit public schools are bridging the digital divide

Partnership aims to connect students with technology

DETROIT – It’s a problem emerging in all school districts across Metro Detroit: If schools held online classes in the fall, would families have the technology need for every child to keep up?

A family of seven just got a special delivery from the Detroit Public Schools Community District. It’s not fair, or accurate, to call this Christmas in July because education is a right -- not a privilege. But for children who have no connectivity or digital devices, education becomes difficult to grasp.

READ: Detroit public schools, protesters head back to court over COVID-19 testing decision

In April, the Detroit Public Schools Community District forged a $23 million partnership with corporations called Connected Futures. The goal was to connect children to technology and this week, computer tablets were given to children who have never had a digital device to call their own.

READ: 3 Detroit summer school students test positive for COVID-19

For the Williams family, it means that two school-aged children no longer have to jockey for time to learn on the family’s single desk top unit. Ta’Leah Williams, 7, and Zyairah Williams, 14, got to use Zoom for the first time.

The devices are not loaners, they belong to the children. They don’t just get the device, but they’ll also get internet and technical support.

READ: Southfield Public Schools plan to balance student safety, needs at home


About the Authors: