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1 Million Wi-Fi Zones for 1 Million Public School Students

Donate data, high-speed internet connection, and hotspot-enabled smartphones to public school students to empower online learning.

Photo of Ingrid Green
4 26

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Our idea is to facilitate:

  • donation of data to specific schools by existing cell phone users
  • cell phone service providers donate hotspot-enabled cell phones to specific schools
  • School distribution of loaned cell phones to students
  • cell service providers activating hotspots and hi-speed internet service

In achieving our first milestone of serving 500,000 students in the US, we will be able to create a scalable solution for the global community. We need partnerships with all major cell phone service providers to coordinate this service, adding an encouragement to match all data donations. We will utilize funding to promote service and leverage our achievements to provide this service for 5 million students worldwide.

What is the need are you focusing on?

From lacking computers to physical space, low-income students are at a disadvantage in online learning.

Schools have closed in all 50 states in response to the coronavirus crisis, with many states extending those closures through the end of the school year. In general, school districts are placing in-person instruction with some form of distance learning, usually online.

"About 17% of students nationwide lack a computer at home, according to a 2019 analysis by the Associated Press. 18% lack broadband internet access. Low-income families and families of color are especially likely to be without these resources, according to the AP."

Which type of submission are you sharing?

  • Identifying a gap that needs to be addressed

Describe the business pivot or adaptation in 3-4 sentences.

As an after-school program educator, I can't reach most of the 40 middle school students during this Stay @ Home period because they lack access to internet. Schools currently distribute meals to students during this pandemic crisis. School can act as a central distribution hub for hotspot-enabled smartphones loaned to students who lack access to high speed internet and data. This model will provide access to an online learning portal and content that meets students’ educational needs. Providing internet access in homes also impacts adults in the home-- giving them a tool to learn, stay productive and elevate their skills.

Do you plan to implement this solution?

  • Yes

Describe the impact that this solution will create in the world.

We plan to provide smartphones with hotspot capability, hi-speed internet and data to at least 500,000 students in the US, and 100,000 students in five more countries (eg: Taiwan, South Africa, Kenya and India). With the cooperation of cell phone users and providers, we can offset involuntary discontinuation of education due to lack of wifi access during the Coronavirus pandemic for millions of children around the world. We believe that a lack of access to the internet will have a detrimental impact on students' self-esteem, development and future in the ever-increasing technological world. Access to digital education materials, help children challenge low income expectations and low self-esteem, as they increase their education performance and positive change in their homes. In what experts are calling the ‘Homework Gap’, African American and Latino children are disproportionately affected by a lack of access to digital technology during this period of mandatory online learning Our goal is to reduce the number of U.S. public school students who lack access to technology, by 10%. Our goal is to impact 5 million people worldwide. We believe that our current team can create a solution to address children in US households in 40 days. Over the following 90 days we can create a sustainable, globally-relevant solution.

What is the name of your business or organization?

Social Impact Movement

What does your business/company do? Whose needs does your business/company address? Who do you serve?

Social Impact Movement (SIM) serves schools, universities, and companies that choose to progress the United Nations’ global goals. SIM is a 501(c)(3), federally registered non-profit that raises awareness through hosting events. SIM educates individuals about the United Nations’ social development goals, including quality education.

What is your profession?

I am an after school educator.

Where are you located (country)?

United States

Where are you located (region)?

  • North America

What industry is your business/company in?

  • Education
  • Non-Profit/Philanthropy

How many people does your business/company employ?

  • 0-10

How old is your business/company?

  • 2-5 years old

Which classification describes your organization/business?

  • Nonprofit/NGO

What kind of stakeholders and partnerships are needed to pursue this solution?

  • Funding- Grants
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- NGOs
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Private Sector
  • Stakeholders/Partnerships- Government

Do you need help building partnerships and finding partners?

  • Yes

If Yes to the above, please share 1-2 sentences describing the specific help you desire.

We need to make a partnership consortium with carriers + smartphone companies + public schools to execute a prototype.

What do you think are the main barriers to implementing this solution?

The barriers are geographic & economic. Millions cannot afford a cell phone with hotspot capability and/or internet access. People don’t yet have a way to donate unused hi-speed internet data to schools in other countries.

If you are currently working on a pivot, what have you learned so far?

Social Impact Movement is an organization that is learning to execute events online.

Are you aware of any open source efforts, hackathons or other collaborative efforts related to your solution? Are you participating in these efforts?


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Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Ingrid Green , really exciting to learn about your idea of providing wif zones to public school students.

We thought it might exciting to have you be part of the COVID-19 Reimagine Learning Challenge: where you could re-re-share your concept, learnings and connect with other community members (such as schools, educators, students and innovators) re-imagining learning at this time and beyond.

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