Rural Students Reporting Tech Troubles

By: Ali Ingersoll Email
By: Ali Ingersoll Email

Some students who attend schools in the Stevens Point Area Public School District are facing problems getting their school work done because they do not have internet access at home.

"It doesn't really matter how many," says Dr. Brian Casey, the director of technology for the Stevens Point Area Public School District. "If it is a problem for some students, we will do anything we can to help those students."

Many students cannot get WiFi because they have financial issues or because of their location.

"There's only a copper wire that goes to the Junction City area instead of a fiber optics cable," says Charles Hewett, a parent who is concerned about the advantage some student have over others. "This does not allow for the children to have access to Moodle because their laptops will not sync up properly to Moodle in order to facilitate their being able to do research."

The school district provides laptops for every student in grades 9 through 12. They can bring the laptops home after school to do work. A lot of the students' text information and assignments they need to complete are accessed on Moodle.

"What's really important about that, is if they don't have access at home that we provide it for them at school," says Dr. Casey. "The idea of an education without access to the internet is not a very good prospect."

The school district says they are trying to help them but they can only do so much.

"There is a problem for some students who don't have internet access at home," says Dr. Casey. "As a school district, we have limited capacity to actually help those students out in terms of providing internet access int their homes. What we can provide is outstanding access while they're at school."

Some parents are concerned the lack of access could turn students off from education.

"I would be very discouraged as a child if I wasn't able to have access that everyone else does," says Charles Hewett, a parent who is concerned about the advantage some students have over others. "I would feel like a person that was sent home to do an assignment without a book - unprepared and embarrassed and why bother going to school."

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