Create programs with eligibility standards to distribute low and no-cost devices to individuals and organizations. Identify needs, secure funding, determine eligibility, obtain, distribute, and track devices, and manage the program. To remove barriers, ensure that the process to obtain devices is easy to complete and coordinated with other entities such as those providing social services. Ensure that all low and no-cost devices are comparable to full price ones. Strive to create self-sustaining support models where recipients learn how to provide training and technical support for the devices to others.
Examples of potential projects identified through the needs assessment process include the following:
- Expanding School Information Systems (SIS) to include the ability to collect digital information such as availability of devices and internet service at home to address student households’ needs, enable online and distance learning, and end the homework gap – when students cannot access foundational educational resources at home because of lack of devices and connectivity.
- Providing high-quality devices to all students in Marin’s K-12 and higher education programs, on a one to one basis, and allowing students to keep a device upon graduation.
- Collaborating with Marin’s non-profit, government, and community based organizations to provide Tech Connect Packs for residents of subsidized housing, older adults, social service recipients, homeless individuals, and other under-served people to ensure they have the devices, internet service, knowledge, and support to meet their digital needs.
- Partnering with community foundations and other organizations to distribute low and no-cost devices to non-profits and community based organizations to address their digital needs.
- Collaborating with economic development agencies and other organizations to partner with or create refurbishment programs to broaden Marin’s distribution of low and no-cost devices and potentially create jobs, job training opportunities, and new businesses.
37% of students surveyed in one district reported not having a reliable device at home.
— BSUSD Connection Committee Survey