OSDE obtains 50,000 hotspots, data plans to help districts with online classes

The Oklahoma State Department of Education says 10,000 of those will go to Tulsa Public Schools

Tulsa — The effort to provide distance learning capabilities for low-income and rural students has gotten a boost from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

OSDE announced Friday that it had obtained 50,000 devices, and 4g unlimited data packages, through an agreement with Verizon.

In a statement sent to KRMG and posted on the agency’s website, Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Joy Hofmeister said “This pandemic has underscored the inequities of the digital divide that hinder opportunities for so many of our children.”

She said one in four Oklahoma students lack reliable home Internet access.

While many districts used federal CARES Act money to obtain devices, she points out, those devices are useless if they can’t connect to the web.

OneNet, a division of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, will provide content filtering and technical support at no cost to the districts.

Parents concerned about their children’s access to broadband Internet should contact their school districts for guidance.

TPS is slated to receive 10,000 of the hot spots; other districts in the area which are participating include Broken Arrow, Jenks, Owasso, and Skiatook.

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