DIGITAL DIVIDE IN EDUCATION AND INCREASE OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL STUDENTS
WHAT IS PROJECT CONNECT?
Project Connect is a non-profit working to map every school in the world. Our goal is to provide real-time data assessing the quality of each school’s Internet connectivity, eventually creating an observable metric of society’s progress towards enabling educational access and opportunity for every student on Earth.
WHY ARE WE MAPPING SCHOOLS?
Some national governments don’t know where all the schools in their country are, meaning they can’t adequately provide services to them.
Many national governments and NGOs are committed to connecting schools to the Internet, but we don’t yet have the capability to monitor whether that is occurring and where on a large scale.
There is an increasing number of children who don’t have access to education. It is estimated that by 2030, 60 million children won’t have access to primary education and since 2007, the global rate of school enrollment has stagnated. Climate change and global conflicts are only exacerbating this issue, by increasing the number of children who are on the move and difficult to reach for education. And it’s not just a question of getting kids into school, but what kind of infrastructure and information they are receiving once they are there. We know that the information and skills that children will need to be successful in this rapidly changing world are increasingly science- and technology-based.
With a real-time map of every school’s Internet connectivity, we will know how to best target help. This is the goal of Project Connect. We want to help identify where the gaps are, understand the level of connectivity that exists at each school, and do our best to channel partners and resources to help. We believe this information will ultimately help national governments optimize their education systems, partners such as UNICEF and other NGOs allocate resources, help to improve data measurement around Internet connectivity, schools, and education, and enable all stakeholders to advocate for increased connectivity around the globe.
HOW WE WILL MAP SCHOOLS
These efforts will involve a variety of approaches, including collecting existing data, crowd-sourcing, and machine learning.
We will also pursue country-specific operational research projects, where we work with providers to connect schools to the Internet and learn from the data that results.
Project Connect understands the sensitivities involved with public data around schools and students, that’s why we’ve worked with UNICEF to create this rigorous data-sharing framework.
Interested in getting involved or want to work with Project Connect, sign up here.