Equitable Access to Educational Technology Tools

""Founded in 1998, the Foundation for California Community Colleges (Foundation) is the official 501(c)(3) auxiliary to the California Community Colleges’ Board of Governors and Chancellor’s Office. Since 1999, the Foundation has operated the CollegeBuys program to support systemwide procurement needs by leveraging the collective purchasing power of the California community colleges to create voluntary cooperative purchasing agreements.

Central to our efforts is the notion that cost should not be a barrier, and all California community college students should have equal access to educational technology tools. Through specially negotiated pricing, CollegeBuys has enabled students to purchase mobile internet service, software, and tablets/computers, which may have otherwise been unaffordable, collectively saving students, faculty, and staff millions of dollars.

One important offering that supports this work is the California Connects Mobile Internet program. A 2016 field poll by the California Emerging Technology Fund shows that 30% of Californians do not have meaningful broadband access at home, and income is a significant factor in broadband adoption rate at home. California Connects provides an affordable home internet option for students that cannot access the internet during conventional school hours. California Connects is only $19.99 a month for 30GB of data and no overage fees, and has already helped to bridge the digital divide for hundreds of students, faculty, and staff across our college system.

Awareness about California Connects and other technology offerings remains a major hurdle for our students and colleagues, so please help spread the word about these discounts on your campus.  Electronic versions of outreach materials can be found at https://foundationccc.org/CollegeBuys/Champions-Materials.

To learn more about California Connects and other CollegeBuys offerings, visit http://store.collegebuys.org.

 

Posted in equity.

Michelle (@brocansky) is Faculty Mentor, Digital Innovation for @ONE and the OEI and author of Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies. Michelle's work ensures CCC faculty and staff have opportunities to engage and develop through networked learning and the use of emerging technologies. Learn more about Michelle at brocansky.com.

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