Providing internet to low-income families won't improve educational standards of children. Local school districts, cable companies, and technology companies are working hard to market a new “technological advancement” to provide educational tools to low-income families via high-speed internet services. Yesterday, Forbes announced a new public relations campaign by Khan Academy and Comcast to promote the academy and Comcast’s Internet Essentials, which provides broadband cable service for $10 per month.
Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, believes that this service will help improve the educational standards of children in impoverished communities. This may seem like great news because the companies are trying to provide a much-needed service to impoverished families. However, we must ask ourselves one question: Will this service actually do anything to improve the educational standards of children in impoverished communities? Simply providing the internet service will solve the poverty issues affecting these children. In addition, it will not help the children with computer literacy issues, mental health problems, and the myriad of other issues that affecting children in impoverished neighborhoods. With the new online standardized-testing taking effect next year, the concern should not be with providing internet service for low-income families. Rather, we should focus on providing a holistic approach to resolving the technological inequalities in impoverished neighborhoods. This includes educating our children to be computer literate, updating facilities (including technological infrastructures) in our schools, and providing resources and services for families in impoverished communities. Unfortunately, this will not take place anytime soon and our children will struggle during the initial phases of online standardized-testing in just a few short months.