When people picture kids and teens using the internet, they may picture young people playing video games or streaming their favorite TV shows. It makes internet access seem like less than the necessity people need to succeed in the 21st century. Students especially need easy access to the online world through grade school and college.
These are a few reasons why high-speed internet is about much more than convenience and why it's so crucial to bridge the connectivity gap.
Connectivity Expands Future Possibilities
It's challenging to picture different futures for yourself when your world only extends across your hometown. The internet allows grade school students to learn about life in other cities and countries. As they picture themselves hiking distant mountains or living in a coastal community, they're only a quick search away from discovering colleges and universities in those destinations.
Without the internet, students might never take advantage of opportunities that exist elsewhere because they don't have the tools to research their educational or professional interests.
Digital Training Opens Job Fields
Virtual internships are more abundant than ever for high schoolers and college students. You could work for your dream company without relocating or losing hours from your current part-time job or study schedule, but only if your internet speed can keep up with the workload.
High-speed connectivity allows people to attend video conferences and upload projects without buffering or lagging. Students can gain college credit and work experience without paying to relocate, commute, or drop out of classes to make time for their internship.
Connectivity Enriches Educational Opportunities
Attending class requires more from students than showing up on time. You also have to participate by answering questions, taking quizzes, and noting crucial information during lectures. Slow internet connections prevent students from doing these things because they can't keep up with the speed required to download or listen to live classes.
Only 38% of school districts meet the FCC's long-term connectivity goal of 1 billion bits per second (Gbps) for every 1,000 users. Students have a severe lack of internet access during a time when they need to earn excellent grades and get into college.
Better connectivity allows students to collaborate with classmates on projects in real-time or attend tutoring sessions from their dorm rooms or homes. It's much easier to focus on your work and excel academically if it doesn't take hours to complete because of slow loading or buffering.
Digital Classrooms Cross Systemic Barriers
Public grade schools are accessible to everyone, but costly college fees make higher education an opportunity only for those who are either financially well-off or who earn scholarships. Improved internet speed is the best way to open university classes to students from low-income communities.
If you can't afford a car or expensive on-campus apartments, virtual classrooms will make it possible to achieve your degree and cross socio-economic barriers. You could also take more diverse classes because digital degree programs offer more extensive study fields than in-person university degree tracks.
Virtual Appointments Promote Student Health
Students can't focus on their work if they're sick and unable to see their doctor because they don't have health insurance or enough money. College students also might not have time for a part-time job to afford an in-person clinic visit.
High-speed internet lets you consult doctors through non-profit health care websites and get the care you need to do your best in school. You'll clearly hear and see your doctor during a telehealth visit and get affordable health advice to feel your best again.
Change the High-Speed Internet Narrative
There are so many reasons why high-speed internet is about much more than convenience. These are just a few examples of why people need to change the narrative around providing high-speed internet in cities and rural communities. Students of all ages will enjoy more educational opportunities and better experiences that launch them into the successful career of their dreams.