PORTLAND, Ore., March 25, 2021 — The Coronavirus pandemic has changed all of our lives. Social distancing, wearing a mask, and working and learning remotely has become the new normal for countless people around the world. But for underprivileged, underrepresented, and vulnerable communities, the pandemic has done something else – it has increased the digital divide between those that have access to technology and those that do not.
In a series of articles, CTL explores different aspects of this issue, from how different communities have been impacted to how Intel-powered CTL Chromebook computers can be used to help bridge the digital divide. The articles, available on CTL.net‘s News blog each have a link to a whitepaper with a deeper dive into the topics. The articles are summarized below:
Increasing Digital Inclusion For Bipoc Communities
Summary: Before COVID-19, underrepresented communities were affected by the digital divide, but the pandemic has left BIPOC communities even more vulnerable. Whether learning from home, researching and applying for jobs, or connecting with loved ones from afar, Chromebooks can be an innovative solution for increasing digital inclusion for BIPOC communities.
Seeking Digital Equity For Individuals With Disabilities
Summary: Lower income disabled individuals in underserved communities have often relied on public services for healthcare, mental health, job placement services, and financial assistance.
As a result of COVID-19 related lockdowns, many of these resources transitioned to only being offered online. At the same time, COVID-19 disrupted access to the use of public computers and free public Wi-Fi that would be needed to access these online services. Chromebooks offer an inexpensive and easy-to-deploy solution to address this disparity.
Closing The Homework Gap Exacerbated By Covid-19
Summary: As COVID-19 has forced schools to switch from in-person to remote learning, the homework gap has widened. Students in low-income families often don’t have at-home access to the same technology or high-speed internet as students in higher-income families. Chromebooks have become a promising tool in reducing the homework gap because they are so easy to use, deploy, and maintain.
Technology can be a valuable tool for society to stay connected and to access information, but it is important to consider the lack of technology resources available to underrepresented and low-income communities. Visit CTL to learn more about Chromebook initiatives to bridging the digital divide.