Digital Equity

We are creating equitable access to resources by providing our most vulnerable students with the technology and support they need for academic success.

Students need Access to Digital Resources

At-risk students in our community are in jeopardy of falling even further behind in their studies due to a lack of internet and devices.

All too often, students do not have access to a personal computer and are unable to complete assignments at home. The pandemic has only exacerbated this long-existing Homework Gap, causing disproportionate learning losses for students in need. Internet is often the first expense families cut when finances are tight. In Florida, 58% of students do not have access to affordable broadband internet, and students from lower-income households are more likely to be disconnected.

HEF is working to close the Digital Divide and Homework Gap for all students by ensuring access to internet connection and devices to complete homework assignments and be engaged in their learning.

Overcoming Student

Learning Loss

Student with devices provided by Hillsborough Education Foundation

Bridging the Digital Divide

Many students and their families are facing a lack of Internet connection while also overcoming language barriers and limited digital literacy training.

The impact of the Digital Divide during the pandemic has been devastating—leading to months of learning loss and decreased graduation rates.

Student Learning Loss Estimates:

  • 57-183 days of learning loss in Reading
  • 136-232 days of learning loss in Math

– Stanford University’s Center of Research on Education Outcomes

Students who experience a prolonged Homework Gap will earn lower grades, which can ultimately lead to lower incomes, lower tax contributions and increased health care use.

We believe Education is Key to a Prosperous Community, and we know that a long-term Homework Gap has a lasting impact on our students and Hillsborough County.

RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS AND FAMILIES

Hillsborough Education Foundation’s Digital Equity Initiative closes opportunity gaps and increases equity in education for Hillsborough County Public Schools students. We are committed to bridging the digital divide by providing technology resources, digital literacy skills training and a critical connection for students to their teacher and classmates.

Current students and families who are in need of assistance with internet access and devices can click the button below to learn more about our Digital Equity Initiative and how to connect with our team.

Hillsborough Education Foundation is grateful for all our amazing partners like Children’s Board of Hillsborough County who support increasing equitable access to digital resources in our community.

Ready to take action?

Hillsborough Education Foundation Assists Family With Hotspot for e-Learning

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Through our Digital Equity Team and Tech Connect program, we’ve provided WiFi hotspots and/or laptops to more than 1,500 students, still more needs to be done.