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Virtual Learning Raises Equity Issues

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Posted on Friday, April 3, 2020, at 2:48 PM


From where I sit in my home office in Burlington, my internet access is fine. I work upstairs in my adult daughter’s bedroom writing grants and appeals and attending Google Hangout meetings with colleagues from across Vermont. My husband, an engineer, is sequestered downstairs in our home office, in video calls with folks as far away as Singapore. Our signal remains strong and consistent, spared frozen screens and scratchy audio.

One of the enchanting aspects of living in Vermont is that, if you choose, you can live off of a dirt road, off of a dirt road and cultivate your own little piece of paradise. Mud Season (i.e., Springtime in Vermont) can become a slight inconvenience with bumpy, pot-holed roads, but many are happy to accept the trade-off.

Vermont Adult Learning serves students in some in the farthest, rural reaches of our state where internet access may be limited or non-existent. Given the economic barriers our students experience, they may not be able to afford a computer or internet connections—in dial-up or broadband. This is why our agency is scrambling to find resources to get chrome books, iPads and hot spots into our students’ hands as we shift to delivering education and training virtually.

If you can help, please reach out to me: Katherine Stamper, Development Director, Vermont Adult Learning, [email protected] or (802) 825-5983. You can also mail your gift to VAL, 46 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676 or make a secure gift on our website at http://www.vtadultlearning.org/donate/

To read more about issues of virtual learning equity, check out this article in VT Digger: https://vtdigger.org/2020/04/01/poor-internet-poses-challenge-for-remote-learning-during-pandemic/

Be well.

© Vermont Adult Learning

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