Issues with Internet Access Impact Learning Around the Country

Parker Blake

Technology has been very helpful in providing a virtual learning classroom for students in the DeForest Area School District during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, in other, larger schools, administrations are taking a harder, more skeptical look at the idea of online schooling.

Cobi Francis, a Junior from Texas, explained what his school was doing in terms of virtual learning. “We just started [school] this week and we basically had off of school all March.” He said that his school was worried about all students having internet access to participate in online virtual learning. He goes to Smithson Valley High School right outside of San Antonio, Texas and the population of his school is roughly 3500-3600 students. In comparison, East High School has around 1600 students, and Deforest High School only has about 1000 students. 

In DeForest, there are kids without Internet access at home that need to go to the library in order to participate in school, which is fine, but online school is self-motivated and having to go somewhere every day and then try to learn something on your own can be difficult. Some students can’t motivate themselves to do that so they might fall behind, which would tear down that motivation even more. 

Francis said that a good portion of students in his school don’t have access to the internet, therefore not having easy access to a virtual learning environment. Now some students could go to their local library to work there, but a library can only hold so many people before it breaks quarantine guidelines.

Many people have certain limitations that hinder their abilities to further their education. Smithson Valley High School students, and students around the country, have to deal with roadblocks like “no access to the internet from home”, difficulty staying on task, or even things like not learning in an environment with face to face interactions. These “roadblocks” can greatly impact how a student learns new material. However, our schools and other schools around the country are finding a way to help answer questions that both parents and students have. Teachers and other staff are working very hard to keep students learning during a time like this.

For information on meal services and free temporary internet access, visit