Hopper Bay group photo intranet

How The Digital Divide in Alaska is Affecting Schools

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly strained how schools, students, and teachers operated. It became difficult for everyone to transition to remote learning, specifically for people in remote areas with little internet connection.

This was the problem children faced in rural parts of Alaska. Many communities struggled to find a good way to provide internet to their students so they wouldn’t miss out on learning opportunities and stay connected to their community. Here’s how the Hooper Bay School used Intranet to help students connect to one another and their teachers.

Why was it Hard to Connect to the Internet in Rural Alaska?

Many rural communities lack access to affordable, reliable broadband, and educators have struggled to find solutions for that. It costs a lot of money and time to build the appropriate infrastructure. And while the broadband network is expanding, there are many places still waiting for it to improve.

It can be difficult for Alaskans to get affordable and reliable internet. This can make it difficult for the students to receive internet at home to enable remote learning.

How Did the School Use Intranet?

The Hooper Bay School took a unique approach to provide distance learning to their students called the Intranet. While the internet is where anyone in public can utilize the worldwide system, the Intranet is different. It allows a separate and private connection.

Hooper Bay School utilized an Intranet connection that allows its students to use teleconferencing technology to connect. This allows them to watch broadcasted basketball games and video chat with their teachers and other students. It provides a unique experience that kept people safe with remote learning but allowed them to stay connected.

Although this was great, it was still a challenge as inputting the proper equipment into people’s homes for this Intranet connection was difficult. But stories like these provide examples of why it’s important to work towards improving the broadband connection in Alaska.

Read More About Using Intranet In Alaska