04.05.2020

Coronavirus for kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots

Coronavirus for kids without internet: Quarantined worksheets, learning in parking lots Photo Courtesy Associated Press

Corey Shepherd teaches fifth graders in rural Alaska in a school district the size of Indiana. The terrain there is so rural that only airplanes and snowmobiles connect the district’s 11 tiny villages.

Shepherd is one of more than 7,000 teachers in his state trying to make the most of teaching his students since the governor closed schools to in-person learning to stop the spread of the coronavirus. One method he isn’t relying on: online learning.

“Around half of my students have access to the internet on some device at home,” Shepherd said. “Internet service is very expensive in rural Alaska and comes with data caps. Internet service is also prone to interruptions due to weather.” 

For those who already have service, there’s help: Across the nation, many internet providers have agreed to waive late fees and end disconnects for families in financial hardship. But millions without high-speed internet at home have been left to fend for themselves as governments shut down their school buildings and mandate distance learning.

For the full story, visit USAToday.com/News/Education.