(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Baltimore city high schools students will receive 3,700 mobile devices to provide to students this school year.
Sprint is providing devices around the country through its 1Million Project, and the Baltimore area is among the recipients. Baltimore County schools, which previously had a are also set to receive 1,500 devices. In all, the comms giant and the Sprint Foundation are distributing devices in 32 states, including a total of 8,000 in Maryland.
Under the program, Sprint is providing smartphones, tablets or hotspot devices, as well as 3GB of high-speed data. (They can get access to 2G speeds if they go over). High school students who receive the devices can use them throughout up to four years in high school.
Being able to use the devices at home is key to the purpose program. It’s aimed at providing access to the internet to address the “homework gap,” which describes barriers that cause students to fall behind because they do not have internet access at home.
“Being able to connect to the Internet and use digital technologies at home will give students more and better access to the resources they need for success,” Baltimore City Public Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises said in a statement. “Initiatives like the 1Million Project are important if we’re going to close the digital divide and make sure there is equity in access to the tools and information that power today’s world.”
Along with Comcast’s Internet Essentials expansion in Baltimore, it’s another sign that telecom companies are looking to address access issues.