Student Internet Access???

What is the state of student Internet access or lack of it in the Seekonk and Attleboro?

I just read an article on Yahoo . It discusses the problems that many poor and/or rural students have in accessing the Internet to do their homework.

Some schools have asked teachers to limit homework assignments requiring use of the Web. Some go to a local McDonalds in which Wi-Fi is free, in some of them anyway.

So, I was wondering what the situation is like here in Seekonk and Attleboro areas? How many families and students do you know of that do not have Internet access at home? What is the solution?

Yes, the Attleboro Library  offers access, but how late in the evening? Do the local McDonalds have free Wi-Fi? There is no Starbucks in the local area to use—except in South Seekonk , and it is pretty small and it's too cold to sit outside and connect.

I had a couple of ideas. Perhaps our schools and local businesses could offer a secure space within their buildings, supervised by volunteers, that students could use until maybe 9 or 10 o'clock. How about Bristol Community College, here in Attleboro? They must have places where public school students could connect to the Web and get their homework done.

Then again, the Yahoo article opened with information about students in a rural Alabama community, which is certainly different from our local area. So, how many students might need this in our neighborhood? If there are only a few, some accommodation should be made for them. Let's not allow their education be made more difficult for lack of Internet connection at home.

Let's hear what you have to say.

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Emcee of Seekonk February 01, 2013 at 05:50 PM
Interesting topic. Although Seekonk and Attleboro are not exactly like Alabama, we certainly could have families among us who have hit a rough patch and do not have access to the internet except through a smartphone. If the school assignment were to include the printing of something, like a map, the student would have to get themselves over to the library because, in this case, even McDonald's WiFi access wouldn't help. Another problem in families that don't have a computer setup might be the 'writing of papers'. An essay, or whatever. I haven't seen a typewriter in years.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 05:51 PM
What comment was not approved?
Emcee of Seekonk February 01, 2013 at 05:55 PM
I have two 'pending approval' comments that are still hanging there. However, I copied them and submitted them again and they appear to have gone through. Also I deleted the question to your answer above.
Wzzzrd February 01, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Comcast offers a program for households who qualify for free and reduced lunch that provides free cable modem to homes and a monthly $10 fee for internet service; it also includes a voucher for a computer for $150. Information can be found at www.internetessentials.com
Steve Hopkins February 01, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Good...thanks for the info Wzzzzrd. OK, but how about those that do not have Comcast, no phone line and just a cell phone? I wonder if someone in the school dept has info collected regarding these kids and families. And, are they being assisted in some way?
Emcee of Seekonk February 01, 2013 at 10:21 PM
Steve, I wondered about the same thing, that is how much personal information a teacher has access to on the children in her class. Homeless families are sometimes living out of motel room. Good for WiFi (maybe) but not so good for owning a computer. Other families might not want to pay $10 a month just so a child can do an occasional homework assignment. I suppose the easiest way around it all would be to make computer homework optional. Ie: the homework assignment is either this or that.
Steve Hopkins February 02, 2013 at 12:35 AM
In the article i read some teachers and systems had modified their homework assignments to minimize computer requirement. I think when the kids get into middle school and certainly HS, computer use is much more of a necessity. Then again, kids learn faster than we do, so they can catch up more quickly later! Probably the smart kids, the really smart one will find ways to get a computer to use, i.e.. stay after school , restaurant, library and make it happen. Still something should be done to keep track of these kids in our area and make allowances to help have access without to much hassle.
deb of see-attleboro February 02, 2013 at 10:22 AM
I agree, Emcee. And let's not forget the parent's that do not want computer internet access in their home. Or at least not for use by children. I suppose one or two still exist and there should be options. If it wasn't for the demands of the schools back in the day, I would not have installed internet capability in my home. Nowadays, I imagine the demands for computer access are even greater.
Emcee of Seekonk February 02, 2013 at 12:42 PM
I'm sure kids buddy up with one another to use the best computer that's working. Kids are resourceful and smart... very, very smart when it comes to electronics. Hopefully, there are none that are falling through the cracks.
Steve Hopkins February 02, 2013 at 02:37 PM
I'll check and try to find a contact with in the school dept.. Perhaps even our new Rep., Paul Heroux. Hope you are right that this is a non-issue in our area.
Todd Ouellet February 02, 2013 at 04:53 PM
Steve, I think the idea of the community pitching in is excellent. Ill start the offer. I would gladly volunteer the use of our common space in our store. Pc Express. We have seating for eight. We already have the wifi in place for the buisiness. Under the guidance and supervision of adult volunteers I would glady offer this assitance till 9pm mon thru thurs. We are located across from Artistic Productions on rte 152. If anyone is serious about this please contact me. Todd Ouellet Pc Express. 508 369 3898
Todd Ouellet February 02, 2013 at 04:59 PM
i also wanted to add that we would gladly make several computers with printing capabilities avaiable to the students. Everyone is looking solutions. I have offered athe start of one. Let's see if others will follow and or follow up on our offer. Todd Ouellet Pc Express 550 Central Ave Seekonk, Ma
Jen Crowder February 15, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Wonderful! Glad to see local businesses pitching in to ensure our childrens' education! I'll remember you next time I need something for my computer!
Steve Hopkins February 15, 2013 at 10:29 PM
Todd - that is fantastic. Thank you for the offer. I'm surprised that there has not been more 'chatter' on this thread! Perhaps it is not a problem in our area, which is good. I wonder if anyone from the School Committee has read this but not replied?
Todd Ouellet February 21, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Well the offer stands. But nobody has approached me as of yet. Seekonk is fairly affluent so I suspect we are outside the bell curve on this, but if anyone wants to pursue it we will gladly spearhead the motion.


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