One of the issues with the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing the education of students in times of isolation. It’s all well and good to make offline content but unfortunately not all homes can afford computers or devices to perform the work from home.
Google are looking to help out Californian students who have the greatest need with some free Chromebooks. Sundar Pichai today Tweeted out that they, Google, were working with others to “help bridge the digital divide” in their home state. As such they are giving 4,000 Chromebooks to Californian students and are providing free Wi-Fi for three months (for now) to 100,000 rural households.
Proud to work with @GavinNewsom & partners to help bridge the digital divide in our home state. We’re providing 4,000 Chromebooks to California students in greatest need & free wifi to 100,000 rural households during the #COVID19 crisis to make distance learning more accessible.
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) April 1, 2020
Obviously distance learning is difficult for students whose households cannot afford the same quality of digital device a their counterparts. This problem is not just confined to California and although we are the lucky country, Australia also has many struggling families.
Hopefully the government can help out some of these Australian families the same way Google is in the US (maybe Google Australia could help source some cheap Chromebooks). After all, education should not be just for the rich but for everyone. We want to be the smart country, not just the lucky country.