Thursday, September 20, 2012

HoCo Digital Divide

The Bright Minds Foundation has teamed up with the Howard County Public School System to help bridge the digital divide in the county. According to Paul Brown, a Bright Minds board member, approximately 2,000 students in HoCo do not access to a computer at home.

That’s a real impediment to learning, not mention parental involvement the process. The HoCo schools Aspen system allows parents to check academic progress on a daily basis, including homework assignments and test results. Without a computer in the home these families are at a distinct disadvantage.

Paul pointed out that use of the free computers in the library is limited to fifteen minutes, hardly enough time to conduct serious research. For some of these students even getting to the library is a problem.

The foundation accepts used computers but Paul pointed out that it costs, on average, three hundred bucks to refurbish a donated computer. In other words, monetary donations are preferred.

To date, Bright Minds has provided 400 computers to HoCo families. Their goal is to close the digital divide in three years.
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