As many programs pivoted to remote learning as a result of the pandemic, the inequity in technology access was brought to the forefront. To address this, many programs began to offer technology lending libraries, loaning laptops and wifi hotspots to learners.
I'm interested in hearing about these successes, and even the challenges, with these initiatives. And if your looking for promising practices, check out the list of resources on non-traditional circulating materials.
- Have you begun a technology lending library program? If so, what are some of the successes and challenges?
- What advise would you give a program beginning a new technology lending program?
I'm looking forward to your thoughts.
I know a few programs in our state (Pennsylvania) have lent devices and do have learners sign a contract. Some programs that lend devices have a dedicated staff member that helps learners access and learn how to use the device and then continues to provide technical support so it doesn't fall on the teacher to do that. The challenge with hotspot devices is that one provider doesn't work well in all parts of the local area, so it can get very expensive to have hot spots from several different providers.
Several programs realized the importance of adults having devices after they leave adult education so they can be more successful in training programs, community college classes, or employment. So, they switched to getting devices donated and just giving them to learners and then helping learners access internet at reduced costs or with vouchers for a period of time.