Remote learning reveals the digital divide in Michigan runs deeper than devices

The digital divide among students with different at-home resources has existed for years, but the pandemic brings the gap to the state’s attention. Full-time remote learning has revealed disparities beyond devices and internet access, including varied transportation, tech support, and parental support available to students at home. 

Access to devices is just the start

Cathy Mikesell, a 4th grade teacher in the Woodhaven school district, said students in Downriver districts are generally equipped with devices and Wi-Fi. “Everybody in my class, and I think in my school, has the internet,” she said. “If they didn’t have a computer, the school gave them a Chromebook. We’re really good with that, and that’s not the case everywhere, I’m sure.”

Rachel Lott, a speech therapist from Southgate, also said her district had plenty of devices to spare. 

Income comparisons of districts mentioned.

Award-winning teachers say what a longer post-COVID school year would need

Michigan Schools Superintendent Michael Rice has floated the idea that, to help students catch up on instruction lost during the COVOD-19 pandemic, the 2021-2022 school year be extended.

Here, award-winning teachers from throughout Michigan react to or propose ideas for that suggestion.