Essential actions to ensure technology infrastructure, assets, and guidance support an organized transition to classroom instruction.
Do When Schools are Open and Operating
- Continue infrastructure evaluations until all issues are resolved.
Digital Equity Outreach Month
As a means to support the timely collection and reporting of the data, as well as celebrate successes already achieved, Digital Equity Outreach Month is set for September. The NDE is encouraging schools to take action by directly connecting with families, to understand and support their home digital access needs.
Efforts are underway to support the collection of high quality data sets about home Internet access and to urge schools to move forward with collecting this data as part of the return to school and Digital Equity Outreach Month.
This information collected will enable education leaders to:
- Understand the impact that home digital access has on learning outcomes
- Target available resources to students in need of access
- Determine the most effective connectivity solutions
- Assess options for state and federal funding to close the digital (Homework) gap
- Meet emerging Federal CARES Act reporting requirements
To support action this month, the NDE co-hosted a webinar on September 17, 2020 to review the data elements and resources available. EducationSuperHighway (ESH), shared tools and resources to support school districts with addressing connectivity challenges, including a Home Access Needs Assessment Playbook.
View the September 17, 2020 webinar recording at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RNFbHbZovY and the webinar slide deck here: https://www.launchne.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/K-12-Digital-Equity-Month-Nebraska.pdf.
Schools across the nation are attempting to understand the true scope and nature of the home access gap and data collection is a critical first step in addressing this challenge. School districts in Nebraska need to collect data that moves from understanding the estimated percentage of students without adequate access to the Internet to understanding which students do not have access and what the service options are for these students. To this end, many schools have been working to gather information on student home Internet access already as part of the registration and enrollment processes for the 2020-21 school year.
The question of student home Internet access has become critical for schools to plan strategies for continuous learning. Schools have varying levels of confidence in their understanding of the true levels of access to the Internet their students have. This is partially due to the fact that this information is often collected via home surveys which may be anonymous or response rates are so low that they are not representative of the school or district population. Additionally, because of the inherently technical nature of questions surrounding Internet access, the answers families provide may not be entirely accurate.
Data Elements and SIS Updates
The NDE has communicated a list of the new Digital Equity data elements to be collected through ADVISER and has worked with the Student Information Systems (SIS) vendors to include the data elements that support collecting and reporting the data as well. The data elements to report are provided at the bottom of this message and the certification status of SIS vendors is available at https://www.education.ne.gov/dataservices/2020-2021-adviser-vendor-certification/.
Digital Equity Data Elements
Note: See the original NDE Bulletin item on August 12, 2020 for a list of these elements, also available on the ADVISER Resources website.
|Can the student access the internet on their primary learning device at home?||
|What is the primary type of internet service used at the residence?||
|Can the student stream a video on their primary learning device without interruption?||
|What device does the student most often use to complete school work at home?||
|Is the primary learning device a personal device or school-provided? Is the primary learning device shared with anyone else in the household?||
Nebraska State Broadband Map
Interactive Map on Rural Broadband
Education Broadband Spectrum Project, Northeast Nebraska
(as presented to the Rural Broadband Task Force 9/11/2020)
The project utilizes Tribal access to licenses for the 2.5 GHz EBS spectrum. The project is set up as an educational broadband wireless project so that all K-12 and NICC’s (Nebraska Indian Community College) students within the boundaries of the Omaha and Santee Reservations gain access and maintain access to the internet for remote and other learning opportunities. Umonhon Nation, Bancroft Rosalie, Walthill, Pender and Santee are the base station locations and will maintain internet connectivity. The students at each of the schools have the capability to utilize no cost internet services. The schools provide the installation and their end user equipment for their students. Project planning began in March/April 2020 and as of Sept 2020 base stations have been installed, operational, and passing traffic. Additional tower work and signal enhancements are in progress