Some parents find it hard to get Broadband Internet access at their home. Yet, they know that it is important that their children can go online at home for their schoolwork. Some may find Broadband charges too expensive, some may have credit rating issues that prevent them having a supply contract and others look at the Internet as unknown and scary, worrying about their child’s safety.
For a 1:1 programme (where every child has their own device to use in class and at home)to be successful you need to do everything you can to ensure all of your pupils can continue working at home. So what are the options? Here are a few ideas that might help you find a solution that’s right for you.
Firstly you need to have completed a survey to assess exactly how many of your pupils don’t currently have Internet access at home. Once you have the results from that you can look at each individual case and assess the options with them:
They may already have signed up to Sky or Virgin Media for their television and telephone needs and are perhaps unaware that they can add Broadband to that contract. It may be relatively inexpensive and in some cases could even be free.
Plug in dongles
Many mobile phone providers can provide a gadget known as a “dongle” that plugs into the computer and allows Internet access. These are available under a contract or on a Pay As You Go basis.
Wired up cities
Some towns and cities are creating a “wireless cloud” for all the residents to connect to the Internet through. Under this arrangement all the families would have wireless access without the need for a BT line and a separate contract. It would be worth investigating with your Local Authority to see if such a project is planned in the near future.
Although this probably won’t solve the problem of Internet access at home, you could find out where the free “Hotspots” are in their area where they can get free access to the Internet. These may include local libraries, community centres and youth centres and even coffee shops.
This is a plug-in dongle that is offered by most mobile phone companies on a contract or a pay-as-you-go basis and it provides a certain amount of WiFi access per month. This is a great device to solve credit access problems but in certain cases the school could even subsidise or provide the dongle with the computer.
We hope that this helps you find the right solution for your family. If you discover better solutions do let us know by email so that we can share the information.