achievement gap · coronavirus · DOE Fails · educational equity · Hybrid Learning · online learning · remote learning · student voices

COVID Rates Rise, Remote Learning Continues: How You Can Help

Most of NYC’s 1.1 million public school students are doing remote learning. Every student needs an internet-connected device. As of mid-October, 77,000 students were still missing devices necessary for distance learning. I don’t doubt that 77,000 devices can be distributed in ten weeks, but I do doubt that they have been. Mostly because thousands of devices are reportedly still missing, and because many families that are still missing devices have requested and received devices through NYC School Tech.

NYC School Tech allows anyone with an extra laptop, tablet, smartphone, or other internet-enabled device to find a family with a student who needs a device in order to attend classes and complete their schoolwork. Simply list the device, and wait for someone to request it. Then, the two of you are put in contact to arrange delivery however you see fit.

Because the devices are claimed directly by the people who need them, NYC School Tech can operate more quickly than the DOE or individual schools. Every person who has listed a device so far, found a match in less than a week, and new devices are needed urgently. This site also gives students access to a wider variety of devices than the DOE offers, so students’ needs can be better met. But, all of this is dependent on donations from readers like you. Thank you.

Because these devices are donations, students get to keep the devices, unlike the DOE iPads which have to be returned. This is a much longer-lasting band-aid than the DOE’s inadequate program. There is no bureaucracy or middle-man. Simply give a device to someone who needs it. No loan agreements or usage restrictions.

If you have any other kinds of devices which may be useful, like wifi hotspots, webcams, headphones, or microphones, please feel free to list them on NYC School Tech as well. Students have varying needs, so chances are, any working device you may have can be put to good use by a student.

If you work for or know of an organization which can donate a large number of devices, please let us know by contacting me at [email protected]. Some schools have sets of chromebooks or ipads that they are replacing, and the old ones can be distributed extremely efficiently via NYC School Tech.

If you know a student who needs a device, please share NYC School Tech with them and their family, or, if that’s not possible, you can use this site to get a device for them. Teachers, social workers, and parents should check this site often to find devices for the students they care about.

Devices are essential for far more than just school, but the DOE imposes internet and usage restrictions on the devices they loan out. This program has no needless restrictions, and is as simple as possible. Please contribute if you can, and share NYC School Tech among everyone you know in New York City. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, leave them in the comments below, or contact me at [email protected].

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