Digital Divide

Last Updated: 10/7/2020 5:01 PM

parent with student engaged in remote learning

About
One of the greatest challenges New Jersey school districts are faced with is the digital divide, an unresolved problem whereby students usually have access to technology, but limited or no internet connectivity at home. The Camden County Educational Services Commission has identified solutions to help school districts to address this issue. School districts can utilize cooperative purchasing for internet service and learning management platforms which can significantly improve the teaching and learning experience for students.

Internet Service Provider
An RFP was recently awarded to Xtel Communications. Xtel Communications provides a rapidly deployable internet service that school districts can purchase for utilization by their students. Providing students with internet access at home is similar to providing them with textbooks or other required school supplies.

Learning Management Systems
Through a new cooperative purchasing agreement, school districts can choose between the Blackboard Unite for K-12 platform or Schools PLP, two approved vendor options.

Blackboard Unite for K-12
Blackboard Unite for K-12 is a holistic and comprehensive set of technology tools for remote and blended learning. This turn-key solution includes a robust learning management system, a secure virtual classroom solution, an accessibility solution, a district-branded mobile app, and teacher-to-home communication tools. Districts can quickly and effectively engage students both inside and outside of the classroom, keep parents and communities safe and informed, and help teachers reach the families they serve to maximize student success.

“Everyone should have access to learning, whether it’s in their classroom or in their home. Blackboard Unite for K-12 brings together our established digital learning platform and safe classroom-to-home communication tools to create a supported and secure online environment for continued learning anytime, anywhere,” stated Christina Fleming, Vice President of K-12 at Blackboard.

Sales contact: Kaitlin Ford, NJ Account Executive, Kaitlin.ford@blackboard.com

SchoolsPLP
The second approved vendor is SchoolsPLP. With over 550 digital curricula options, as well as the curricula in printed form, SchoolsPLP brings together multiple providers to a single platform creating a comprehensive learning experience for students. Curriculum choice allows educators to think about the level of rigor, the interactive and multimedia components, and project assignments before releasing curriculum to their students. SchoolsPLP offers personalized virtual coursework for asynchronous instruction as well as a platform for synchronous instruction to accommodate all students’ individual needs.

"We set out to bring choice to educators along with flexibility by bringing together multiple providers to a single platform in order to create the best learning experience for students. With the fastest start time in the industry, we look forward to helping school districts provide digital curriculum for all students, pre-K through 12th grade," says Josh Leitz, Regional Director at SchoolsPLP.

Sales contact: Josh Leitz, Regional Director, josh@schoolsplp.com

 

Cooperative Purchasing Details
Cooperative purchasing information can be found here.