Helping Students Who Don’t Have Internet at Home

Author: Rich Atkinson


In 2020, an estimated “two-thirds of school-aged students around the world didn’t have internet access,” according to UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 1

So what are some solutions for those students in the U.S. and around the world without access to the internet at home?

Students can access free internet

Public libraries offer free wifi for students who have a computer but don’t have the internet at home. Also, students can consider accessing public wifi at fast-food restaurants or coffee shops. The first option should be less distracting. The latter could be more distracting and costly since businesses don’t want people hanging out for a long time and not buying anything.

Teachers can flip their classroom and homework assignments
When teachers flip their classrooms, students can do internet research on school computers. Students can read and work on other projects that don’t require the internet at home. In other words, save the low-tech options for their homework assignments.

By having documents accessible offline, students could access what they need but won’t have to log on to the internet. Think hands-on activities in the classroom and information-gathering activities at home through reading, note-taking, or watching videos via computer drives that are offline enabled. The video could be what a teacher would typically teach in a classroom setting. Eliminate the need for the internet by printing notes or having assignments that don’t need students to access the internet.

Students can borrow hotspot devices to take home overnight.
Schools can purchase affordable mobile wifi hotspot devices and Gigabyte cards.

Internet availability has improved for students over the last few years, but only for some. By considering the places where free access is available, whether at school or in public areas that have wifi, like libraries and coffee shops, students don’t have to despair or lag behind. Schools can provide mobile hotspots as an option, or teachers can offer flipped classroom activities so students won’t need to use the internet when they leave school.

For a similar post about resourcing students who don’t have computers at home, read Helping Students Affected by The Digital Divide.

About the Author

Rich Atkinson

Rich Atkinson began his writing career with a community paper in Ohio.

He has worked for a magazine. Travel assignments have taken him outside the country to Haiti and Guatemala. In the U.S., he has journeyed to Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, and many other places for feature stories.

When not writing, Rich finds time to read and enjoys listening to authors discuss writing on podcasts and in YouTube videos.

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