Digital Divide | Bridging the Gap
The first "Belief" in the District's Strategic Plan 2010 states: "Learning must take place at home, in school, and in the community." This statement supports the Digital Divide Program as does School Board Policy 5306 — School and District Technology Usage — which states: "The broadest possible access to the School Board of Broward County's web based educational resources will be promoted, while providing safeguards to ensure that security is maintained. Toward this desired outcome, The School Board of Broward County, Florida, will support programs designed to bridge the Digital Divide." Thus, Broward County Public Schools believes that technology positively impacts student achievement. As technology becomes more important in the lives of our students, strategies to address the "digital divide" in students' homes become increasingly more critical.
Research shows that students who have home computers perform better academically and take higher level courses. Yet, a report from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ("Connected to the Future") suggests the Digital Divide has not yet closed, and may potentially widen for some children. The Digital Divide Program is an important aspect to our school district because Broward County Public Schools recognizes the importance of digital media and instructional resources. In fact, a core element of the Instructional Technology Plan focuses on web-based instructional resources for students and their families that will be available on a 24x7 basis.