President Obama Announces ConnectHome: Expanding Access to Broadband Technology for Students Across America
President Obama Announces ConnectHome: Expanding Access to Broadband Technology for Students Across AmericaJose Rios, Director of Multicultural Communications, The College Board
On July 15 President Obama, along with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), announced the launch of ConnectHome, a national collaborative effort that will bring access to broadband internet, technical assistance, and digital literacy training to students living in public and assisted housing across America. The College Board is taking part in this new collaborative effort that will significantly enhance one of our major efforts: ensuring that all students and families have access to the best SAT and PSAT/NMSQT practice resources, completely free of charge.
All Access sat down with Steven Colón, Vice President of Access to Opportunity, who attended the event in Durant High School in Durant, Oklahoma, to talk a little about this new initiative.
What is ConnectHome?
ConnectHome is a new initiative with communities, the private sector, and federal government to expand high speed broadband to more families across the country, launching in twenty-seven cities and one tribal nation. Internet Service Providers, non-profits and the private sector will offer broadband access, technical training, digital literacy programs, and devices for residents in assisted housing units.
What is the College Board’s involvement in this initiative?
Expanded broadband access will significantly enhance one of the College Board’s major efforts: ensuring that all students and families have access to the best SAT practice resources, completely free of charge -- and save students, families, and community-based organizations in these cities millions of dollars on commercial and private SAT prep costs. The College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer students and families in HUD housing in all ConnectHome communities free, online SAT practice resources, and contribute $200,000 over three years to fund digital literacy and personalized college readiness and planning training in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Washington, DC and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
How will this improve student experience with technology and help to close the digital divide?
Greater access to these resources, which are the finest and most authoritative in the world, will help level the playing field for students to prepare for both the SAT and college-level courses, particularly among lower-income students and reduce the digital divide, which disproportionately affects African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans so that all students can take full advantage of Official SAT Practice on KhanAcademy.org.
In addition, through the use of personalized College Board accounts, students and families will be able to access rich college planning and search services, such as Big Future. These tools empower students to take challenging coursework in high school, fully explore their college and career options, and apply to college.
Watch President Obama's speech at Durant High School in Durant, Oklahoma: