Coronavirus Struggle: How To Teach Kids Without Computers?

WWJ News
April 03, 2020 - 7:50 am

(WWJ) After the governor's announcement that Michigan schools will remain closed for the rest of the year and learning should continue at home through distance classes ... a question remained:

What about kids without computers?

Charlie Langton reported this hits home especially hard in Hazel Park, where 40% of students do not have computers.

"It's a real problem, not only in this district, but in many districts," Langton said.

But it doesn't just affect Hazel Park. Langton added that some reports say a half-million school kids in Michigan don't have access to online learning because they lack either internet or a device. 

Hazel Park's Supt. Amy Kruppe said she's hoping private business or the government will step witn donations of supplies and internet hook-ups in these uncertain times.  “We need to keep their mind active and do appropriate things. Have them reading, have them learning because they’re the future the reading and learning because there's a future,” Kruppe said.

Dr. Niikoai Vitti in Detroit said much the same thing in a press release. His district is "actively working with the business community to implement a strategy to provide all DPSCD families with a tablet and Internet access,” he said in a statement.

Her order encouraging distance learning was broad and up to local districts to implement as they see fit, but Whitmer did say in her order that remote learning could include things like phone lessons, online classes and materials mailed to homes. Schools who do decide to rely on virtual learning should also ensure that every student has access to a device that can connect to the internet.

But how? The question has not yet been answered.