Internet often ranks as a low-priority item on the list of low-income families. Unfortunately, children and adults from low-income households miss out on learning opportunities available to those living with in-home wired or wireless internet connections. Libraries provide a great alternative by offering internet to those who otherwise have no access to it. The problem is most libraries are not open 24 hours a day or schedules prevent people from getting to those computers during hours the libraries are open.
New York and Chicago libraries have conducted studies that focused on lending portable hotspots to low-income families to help foster online learning opportunities. The process will take some time to fully function, but due to generous grants from Knight Foundation, libraries will begin to lend hotspots from 3 weeks to up to a year to allow children and adults take part in online learning. Although, Comcast has a program that allows in-home wired internet, this particular program gives people a way to use the internet wherever signal is available.
[Image credit: Vincent Desjardins, Flickr]