The Age of Screens

Life today as we know it, is impossible without our digital devices. Picture this — it’s 9 a.m. and your toddlers’ attending virtual class on the iPad, you’re in a meeting on the company laptop, your partner is remote working on the desktop, and your teenager is pretty much glued to their cell phone 24/7.

We know this all too well – many have experienced the challenges of online learning and homeschooling during the pandemic which has affected both parents and children drastically. Parents are pressured to be superheroes while they struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance and children are expected to perform and engage as much as they did with in-person learning. Quite frankly, these presumptions are not only stressful, but very unrealistic as well.

Digital Poverty

COVID-19 has put many households into poverty on a global level. In the U.S. alone, almost one in every five children lives in poverty, making them more likely to not have access to internet connection or digital devices for school. According to a recent UNICEF-ITU report, 1.3 billion school-aged children do not have internet connection in their homes. This challenge has left students unable to attend class and complete assignments, making education simply out of reach.

You may be thinking, why not just take the kids to a McDonalds or a public library to get free internet access? Unfortunately, many disadvantaged families don’t have the luxury of digital devices for their children to use. According to an Ofcom report, it is estimated that between 1 million and 1.8 million children do not have access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home in the UK.

Netsweeper and LGfL Partnership

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL) is committed to using technology to enhance teaching and learning. They provide a filtered broadband connection, network services, online content, and support communities for schools across the UK to ensure schools are able to save money, keep children safe, tackle inequality, energize teaching and learning, and enhance wellbeing.

LGfL required an Internet content filtering solution that would provide the highest level of categorization accuracy and platform scalability. They also needed a solution that would provide the scalability and flexibility they needed as they expanded their services to schools and pupils. Netsweeper’s solution to advance education was able to meet LGfL requirements, making them one of the UK’s largest educational service providers.

How We’re Helping

As students and parents continue to struggle through this digital divide, urgent action needs to take place to support those who are falling victim to this crisis. For many, access to internet and devices for school are out of reach, essentially preventing children from learning and continuing their education.

LGfL has created a nationwide procurement scheme called “Bridge the Divide” for up to 1 million Chromebooks and WinBooks. Their goal is to create the biggest and cheapest device purchase for children. The benefits not only include affordability by increasing access to devices and technology for children, but also giving them the opportunity to teach and learn in more effective ways. Netsweeper was also able to help LGfL by rapidly rolling out a comprehensive Windows, Chromebook, and iPad filtering solution to over 100K students.

For more information on LGfL, what they do, and their partnership with Netsweeper, check these out!

  • Download the LGfL case study
  • Listen to our podcast with Mark Bentley

Submitted by: Natasha Pande