Running for Worcester's 1:1 Student-to-Device Commitment
About Ken: Please contribute to the Worcester Educational Development Foundation's Connected Kids Fund and give local students the support they need to continue learning during the pandemic.
With the hope of preparing Worcester students for success during the upcoming school year, I am collaborating with the Worcester Educational Development Foundation (WEDF) to raise money and awareness for the school district’s commitment to a 1:1 student to device ratio. As I run a marathon distance around Worcester’s North Pond this Labor Day, I hope family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors will show support by donating to WEDF’s Connected Kids Fund, a program specifically designed to help the school department achieve this 1:1 goal.
Worcester Public Schools (WPS) are responsible for the education of 25,000 students within Massachusetts’ second largest school district. According to a citywide survey sent out by WPS and reported by the Worcester Telegram last May, approximately 25% of those students do not have access to a technological device beyond a cell phone. The transition from in-person to remote learning last spring emphasized the need for students to have access to adequate learning resources if schools must swiftly change course again this fall. The Connected Kids program will help to provide all local students with functional and modern devices, regardless of his or her racial or economic background. Furthermore, to accommodate families without web access, the school department has purchased from Verizon 1,500 hotspots throughout the city to be maintained for the upcoming school year so that students can efficiently access web-based learning activities, assignments, and lectures.
The benefits of implementing technology into the curriculum may extend beyond its necessity dictated by the global pandemic. In addition to sustained access to classroom activities, students may formulate technology-driven critical thinking, communication, and creativity skills vital to downstream success in the 21st century. For example, Worcester’s Burncoat Middle School has introduced Chromebooks and G Suite for Education, a learning platform compatible with Chromebooks, into its curriculum. This enables students to engage in new opportunities for learning via such tools as Google Drive, Docs, Forms, Slides, and other programs.
Recognizing the many uncertainties faced by school communities ahead of the fall semester, I felt compelled to chip in however possible. WEDF has been carrying out its mission “to support the Worcester Public Schools, connecting students and teachers with needed resources, enriching the student experience, and advancing equity through collaboration” since its inception in 2005. However, combating uncertainty with programs like Connected Kids further highlights the critical role WEDF plays in supporting Worcester’s schools.
Please join me in supporting the Worcester Public Schools commitment to a 1:1 student to device ratio by donating to the Worcester Educational Development Foundation’s Connected Kids Fund.
Ken McCormack's activity stream
Ken McCormack donated 2020-07-30 21:52:24 -0400