Mobile Learning Q&A

Alex Allen's picture
How are you dealing with students that have limited or no internet/technology access outside of the school day?

I'm hesitant to "flip" my class because of students that have access issues outside of the school day. 

Kristi Sturgeon's picture

Offer times before and ...

Offer times before and after school to access at school

Jennifer Gingerich's picture

Check with your local ...

Check with your local provider for Internet services.  They will often give a very reduced rate to those with free and reduced lunch or other such criteria.  I know of one district doing this in Washington.

Also, flipping your classroom does not necessarily have to entail having students watch the video at home.  They could do this at school.  Watch these you tube videos to see how one teacher  dealt with the situation.

Paul Gouveia's picture

This is a great question ...

This is a great question because it addresses one of the main issues around equity as it relates to technology.

I think we all need to advocate at every level for equitable access to information.

For our 1:1 program, we had a plan to offer wifi hotspots for check out, through the library, for students to take homw ehen they had an online project to complete at home. We haven't been able to figure out funding for this - grants usually won't pay subscription services.

We're also distributing information about Centruy Link internetbasics and Comcast InternetEssentials afordable internet access.

Also CUB has a toll free helpline at 1-855-892-4314

Shawn Daley's picture

One thing that I'm not ...

One thing that I'm not seeing here is the conversation about whether flipping is good/bad at the K-5 vs. the 6-12 levels.   I think that it's harder to flip in a situation with younger kids in an environment where you are unsure of access because they are reliant on their parents to provide access (or travel to access).  Even "Staying after" or coming early is a challenging prospect when they don't have control over when they get to or get picked up from school. 

That said, I think worrying about 6-12 year olds is much different.  I have been (and I realize this is anecdotal) to soooo many middle school classrooms where all the kids know how to get regular access, either by a phone, a library or school computer, or a family point of access.   I think that at this age, as long as you are patient with how long kids have to access a video (I'd give them two nights to watch a video as opposed to an overnight task), you can assign flipped lessons freely at the secondary level. 

Dena Morosin's picture

We have open classrooms ...

We have open classrooms before and after school and during lunch times. 

Matt Head's picture

You may be surprised at ...

You may be surprised at the level of access your students have.  I teach at a Title I, Bi-Lingual school and I would estimate that over 80% of our students have access at least through a smart phone.

As stated earlier, flipping a lesson doesn't necessarily need to be outside of class.  I use video to allow me to be in two places at once.  Video playing for a part of the lesson and me being able to extend or work with students that need extra help in another part of the gym/room.

Don Engstrom's picture

This is a tough one. I ...

This is a tough one. I have pointed students to places (eg the library) where they can get free access. We have also hosted "technology nights" at our school in the computer lab.

Eric Nichols's picture

I think it is important to ...

I think it is important to know exactly how many students do/do not have access prior to having that conversation so that we are informed. BrightBytes/Clarity ( can help you answer that with anonymous surveys of parents/teachers/students, but you could probably do the same with a google form or survey monkey at school with students and then at P/T conferences. 

Lenny Bunting's picture

Depending on your ratio of ...

Depending on your ratio of devices-to-students, the answer differs.  Currently, we have a 6-to-1 ratio of devices to students in our building.  Our school does have an additional cart of iPads that we regularly have access to, however, depending on the need of the staff, this could be difficult.  

I agree with previous posts regarding access outside of the classroom being hit-or-miss.  I too offer a "homework club" after school that is open to all students.  I also open my classroom twice a week during lunch for a study hall.  I usually find that students who lack access are those that are coming in to use this time; although sometimes, depending on performance, can be manditory.

All in all, adjusting our expectations, is part of our job.  Each class is different, each school is different, so in short, adapting to your circumstances is the key to success.

Ryan Hoxie's picture

We allow students to ...

We allow students to access district wireless outside the building.

Scott mcdonald's picture

I host a technology time ...

I host a technology time every tuesday after school for an hour.  And one lunch each week.  I have been very pleased with how many come in.

Tracy Anderson's picture

If you offer before and ...

If you offer before and after school access are the students required to find their own ride to and from school or do you have an activity bus?

Annetta Evans's picture

At my level, we have to ...

At my level, we have to sometimes make hard copies or open study hall times that they can access. This is in rural Oregon where kids are not connected at home due to lack of service.