More than 9 million school-age children in the US don’t have internet access at home. The donated computers run Endless OS, which enables offline access to customized learning materials.
The computers are part of nearly 1,000 computers donated this year by Endless OS Foundation, a nonprofit organization recently launched by Endless Network to help bridge the critical technology gap
MISSION, TX - Today, Endless OS Foundation and Teach For America (TFA) announced they will distribute up to 300 computers to support students’ ability to participate in distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Twenty of those computers will go to students at Dr. Palmira Mendiola Elementary School in La Joya Independent School District.
“La Joya ISD takes great pride to ensure that ALL students succeed and receive a quality education. Our legacy of educational excellence is achievable with the great partnerships we have like Teach For America. Thank you to everyone involved to ensure our students continue to learn and receive a high-quality education, whether it be from home or on campus,” said La Joya Independent School District superintendent, Dr. Gisela Saenz.
The computers run Endless OS, which provides reliable access to online content, curriculum, and apps through an asynchronous, or intermittent, internet connection. Students receiving the computers will be able to access learning materials selected by educators, enabling distance learning at home regardless of reliable connectivity. These computers are the first donation by Endless OS Foundation, a non-profit organization launched by Endless Network in April 2020, and are part of nearly 1,000 computers being deployed through non-profit partnerships this year.
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 14 percent of school-age children -- more than nine million children in total -- don’t have internet access at home, and as a result are unable to effectively participate in distance learning. Lack of access to a computer and to reliable internet is an issue often referred to as the Digital Divide and disproportionately affects households in low-income communities. The digital divide became a major issue in the spring of 2020 as schools nationwide closed and transitioned to distance learning in response to COVID-19. Endless OS provides a solution for students by running customized apps that enable access to publicly-available learning materials preloaded from the internet. By harnessing storage and preloading content, it’s possible to deliver core content and tools to students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to easily use them.
With its expansive network of educators, TFA will help shape the pedagogical content on these donated computers, which will be distributed to students in the Rio Grande Valley whose families lack computer access or reliable internet connectivity at home. Endless OS Foundation plans to work with additional education non-profit organizations and school districts to bring more computers running Endless OS to families who need them.
“We are happy to make these donations at a moment when remote learning and equitable access have become a key issue in education in every country, including the United States,” said Endless OS Foundation CEO, Rob McQueen. “We hope these computers and our Endless OS will make an immediate improvement in students’ remote learning scenarios. By meeting students where they are in the 2020–21 school year, we aim to bridge the technology equity gap, and empower young people – regardless of ability, income, or location.”
“Our country’s transition to distance learning during this pandemic has highlighted the deep inequities in our education system, including the digital divide that exists in many low-income communities across the United States and here at home in the Rio Grande Valley. Students have already experienced major disruptions to their education, and those without access to computers or reliable internet at home are at greater risk of falling behind academically,” said Ana Gonzalez, executive director of TFA Rio Grande Valley. “We are excited to partner with the Endless OS Foundation to provide laptops to students, and we’re grateful that the Endless operating system allows customization, including pre-loaded learning curriculum and resources that can be accessed offline. With this donation, hundreds more students will have access to materials and tools that can enable their success in this new virtual reality.”
Beyond its partnership with TFA, Endless OS Foundation will continue to identify opportunities to expand usage of Endless OS and the critical offline resources built into the system – including its recent offline learning resource for students, the Endless Key.
About Endless OS Foundation
Founded in April 2020, the Endless OS Foundation is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit focused on improving digital literacy, expanding access to the digital economy, and providing world class learning resources to communities in need. By leveraging partnerships with leading educational and lifelong learning organizations, the Endless OS Foundation seeks to meet the technology needs of underserved and unconnected communities while making learning fun and safe for all with a growing world of resources, games, skill-creating tools, and the Endless OS. Learn more at www.endlessos.org.
About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with 350 urban and rural communities across the country to expand educational opportunity for children. Partnering with the Rio Grande Valley community since 1991, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding leaders to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. Today Teach For America Rio Grande Valley is a force of over 250 alumni and corps members committed to profound systemic change. Together, they’re reimagining education to realize the day when every child has an equal opportunity to learn, to grow, to influence and to lead. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org/riograndevalley and follow us on Facebook.