*This photo and previous blog photos are from pixabay.com
Although Vikki Katz’s blog post on digital equity discussed Internet access for K-12 students, her work led me to ask questions about Internet access in higher education settings. Do most instructors know how their students access the Internet to complete assignments? Do they provide surveys to get a sense of students’ access to the Internet when web-based assignments are required? These questions are particularly important for considering OER and leveraging the open web. Does the commuter student who also works off campus have reliable Internet access when she or he cannot get to the campus computer lab? If that same student has a cell phone only, one of the “mobile-only” households that Katz mentions, does that student have a data package to support the amount of web access the she or he needs for classes?
For courses that use OER, it may be nice to have an Internet access plan alongside the OER plans (maybe someone has this already!) so that those with widespread access to the Internet as well as those with limited Internet access can consider myriad ways to connect to the OER course material.