Dallas ISD Working To Build Bridge Over Digital Divide

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On Monday, Dallas ISD will begin making good on a promise to build a bridge over the digital divide

They’ll begin distributing backpacks stuffed with all of the tools of technology: iPads for students in grades pre-K through second. Third grade students and older will receive district-issued Chromebooks, headphones, STEM tools and, for those who need it, hotspots to access the Internet.

“Whether you choose a face to face option, or virtual option or hybrid option: every kid is going to have to have a device, they’re going to have connectivity, they’re going to have to have access,” said Sean Brinkman, DISD’s assistant superintendent of IT services.

He says the district has also been working to make sure students will have “easy access to their instructional materials on that device.”

Dallas ISD staffers say they’ve secured some 70,000 devices — no easy task during the best of times, and COVID-19 has ushered in the worst. When the district was forced to shut down in the spring, it’s estimated that some 50,000 students were left struggling to complete classwork without Internet access.

But, the situation should be different when classes resume Sept. 8.

“We’ve gotten parent feedback and we have really tried to streamline that process,” said Brinkman, saying distribution of the devices and accessing the classwork should be much simpler.

“Kids log in, they have their apps right there. They don’t have to download anything… should be as simple as getting into the device and all of their instructional applications should be available for them,” he added.

Every device will come pre-configured, so parents are encouraged to check the district’s distribution schedule for each school and grade level. The information can be found on the Dallas ISD homepage.

An IT Service Desk is being staffed to field additional questions at 972.925.5630.

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