By Doug Michelman, President, 1Million Project Foundation
The role technology plays in shaping our educational system continues to grow. No longer are students expected to learn only from textbooks or from what’s written on the chalkboard. School districts across America are increasing their use of or moving to digital curricula, and the expectation that all students do even more of their homework online is therefore increasing.
To keep pace with today’s learning environment and further support our 1Million Project Foundation districts and students, I am excited to announce that Sprint is generously increasing the monthly, per-student high-speed data allocation from 3GB to 10GB at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
Our mission with the 1Million Project Foundation is to help high school students who do not have reliable Internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them free mobile devices and free high-speed Internet access each month. So far, we have bridged that gap for almost 220,000 students in 181 school districts across 33 states.
By providing three times more high-speed wireless data, students can do even more web-based research for their school assignments, spend more time studying for the SAT on Khan Academy, and stream even more educational videos. Students will still have enough data leftover for communicating with teachers, exploring college and financial aid opportunities, applying for jobs online, and undertaking other kinds of meaningful efforts as they reach for success during their high school years.
Dr. Kristy Sailors, Director of Education Technology at Houston Independent School District which currently has more than 14,000 students enrolled in the 1Million Project, is thrilled about the generous data increase.
“With the 3GB data usage on the 1Million Project devices, students were forced to prioritize their online tasks to maximize the data speed remaining on the device,” said Sailors. “Now with the increased data of 10GB per month, the limitations are eliminated freeing up students to utilize the hotspot without reservations or concern. The 1Million Project leadership team continues to place students first and we are all grateful for their partnership.”
We are very grateful for the growing support from Sprint. Without access to its mobile network and ability to secure donated devices from suppliers, our work would be impossible. We are also grateful for our relationship with of all of our 1Million Project school districts in helping us bring the necessary digital connectivity tools to many students who are struggling to keep up.
Together, we can help ensure students are equipped to do their best in a school system that is increasingly relying on technology to transform learning.