Taos Education Collaborative
Project Rationale and Goals:
The Taos Education Collaborative (TEC) is the call to action by a local group of educators and community members to address the lack of home Internet for students across Taos County. The Taos Education Collaborative (TEC) will work to fill the gap in learning continuity for students across Taos County and will work to offset the educational inequities that are caused by lack of home internet access.
TEC is a coalition of area schools, businesses, organizations, libraries and churches who commit to offering free Internet access to Taos students, both in times of emergency school closure and during the regular academic year.
The nationwide disruption of K-12 education caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing school building closures has led to a deepening of the “digital divide” – the gap between people who have sufficient knowledge of and access to technology and those who do not. The digital divide disproportionately impacts students of color, those who are economically disadvantaged, and students in more rural and/or remote areas, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The Taos community is considered high-poverty and at-risk, factors that greatly impact our student population. This project, which is fiscally sponsored by the i4tl Center for Research and Innovation (C4RI), will work with our partners to accomplish these three main goals:
- Year 1: To identify partners to provide 100 Internet access points across Taos County
- Year 2: To fundraise for an additional 100 hotspots to deploy with community partners and/or on school bus routes
- Year 3: Develop and administer a community-wide assessment; draw up next steps and three-year plan with TEC founding members