In one of the most diverse school districts in the country, T‑Mobile partnered with school and city officials in Oakland to help close the Homework Gap.
Friday, March 13, 2020: The President of the United States declares a national emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak. That same afternoon, the superintendent of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in Oakland, Calif., declares that, starting the following Monday, OUSD’s 80 K-12 schools would cease in-person classes. The district’s 35,000 students would shift to distance learning through online classes and homework for at least the next month. And so began the most profound logistical challenge that Oakland school administrators had ever confronted.
By John Moses, Vice President, Americas Partner Organization
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the old adage is true: necessity truly is the mother of invention. It’s also shown us that when we work together, not only can we adapt, but we can overcome challenges and even achieve things we previously hadn’t thought were possible.
Our partners have been the very embodiment of those ideas over the course of this year, helping in ways large and small all around the world. Cisco, too, has leaned into the challenges that 2020 has thrown our way, and together we’ve worked to create the solutions our communities need most.
Since the pandemic hit and millions of us retreated to our homes, the situation has cast a bright spotlight on the problem of ubiquitous broadband. Access to the Internet is now more essential than owning a car for many of us, yet an estimated 40 million in the U.S. currently lack high-speed Internet. Large swaths of rural America – not connected. Underserved urban populations – not connected.
This is the third article in a series of blog posts that describe how Cisco enables nonprofits to maximize technology for greater scale and impact. Our introduction to the series is available here. To read more articles in the series, click here. Stay tuned for next week’s post on how a nonprofit that focuses on education uses technology to scale.
Growing up, if I wanted to speak to someone I would meet them face to face; if I needed to learn something, I would ask someone or look it up in a book; and when I needed to get somewhere new, I would use a map to navigate myself.