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Reality of virtual learning without the internet

Posted at 7:37 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 19:38:02-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — You may be surprised how many Kentucky public schools students don't have good internet access.

"There needs to be great urgency to fix the problem," says Brigitte Blom Ramsey, President and CEO of The Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence in Lexington.

Blom Ramsey saw the story and pictures on LEX 18 about Ethan Rodriguez, a Cardinal Valley Elementary student who had to do his virtual assignments in the school parking lot because his family didn't have internet. At home, Rodriguez used a cell phone to work in Google Classroom.

Blom Ramsey lists three "must-haves" for students: adequate access to the internet, adequate devices to use the internet, and quality remote learning.

"I don't think we think it's okay that it's an appropriate learning environment if students are operating with limited internet access, operating off a cell phone and having to sit in parking lots to access their learning," said Blom Ramsey.

According to information collected by Common Sense, a national non-profit that tracks technology data, of the more than 646,000 K-12 public school students in Kentucky, more than 240,000 of them don't have adequate internet access.

"Our first question is where are the families and students who need us most and how are we providing what they need for those students to continue down their learning path?" said Blom Ramsey.

She says for schools to provide the best learning for students, there must be community involvement on the local and state levels.