Boulder Valley Schools’ CIO gets creative on closing homework gap

Being a school district technology leader often means thinking creatively and being resilient. That’s certainly the lesson Andrew Moore, CIO of Boulder Valley School District, has learned over the last few years as he’s tried solution after solution to get internet into the homes of every student in the Colorado district.

At one point his staff tried running their own BVSD internet service into a housing development with a few dozen students, but it turned out that the project ran afoul of the FCC. Then they tried using hotspots in students’ homes, but found that some of the impoverished neighborhoods weren’t getting enough LTE coverage for that to work.

Now, BVSD is partnering with a company to deliver internet to students’ homes. They’ve just started the pilot, but Moore is optimistic.

“If it works and we can scale it, the goal would be to take it to all 55 schools and really saturate Boulder Valley with another internet provider that can service the kids in need,” he tells EdScoop TV.

Because Boulder Valley is a one-to-one district, the students who already have internet access at home have a leg up over their peers who don’t, Moore said.

“It kind of hurts me” to think that the school district is contributing to the digital divide, he said. “I take it a little bit personally to try to find a solution to this problem.”

Learn more about BVSD’s efforts to get internet into students’ homes and the advice Moore has for others considering this type of project:

What kind of impact are you seeing from that project so far?

What advice would you offer to others considering this type of project?

What edtech issues do you feel are most important for educators or technology directors to pay attention to this year?