Digital Divide

The hallway is empty at Galindo Elementary School in South Austin in July.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

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Parents, teachers and advocates worry online-only lesson plans could widen the digital divide and exacerbate educational equity issues in Austin Independent School District. To try to prevent that, the district, which has roughly 81,000 students, is distributing Wi-Fi hotspots, laptops and tablets.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Children in 11 Central Texas ZIP codes are at high risk of food insecurity because of COVID-19, a new study finds. And the situation is further compounded by a lack of access to high-speed internet as they try to continue their education online.

Julia Reihs/KUT

A gap in internet access for Austin residents has shrunk, but a sense of mistrust over the internet’s privacy and security persists among those without access, according to a recent study by the City of Austin and the University of Texas’ Moody College of Communications.

 

Julia Reihs / KUT

Jan Morgan used to think smartphones were for young people.

"I didn't want a phone smarter than me," she joked.  

She refused to get one. Instead the 66-year-old bought flip phones and pre-paid phone cards. Thirty-three phones later, a store clerk pointed out that she didn't have to buy a new phone to get more minutes.

Brad Flickinger/flickr

Federal housing officials were in Austin Tuesday — not to give direction,  but to learn from the local housing authority's successes in closing the digital divide. The federal government is taking a model for digital inclusion from Austin to other cities around the country.