The homework gap is the gulf that exists between students and families that have access to computers and the internet and those who don’t. It is part of the digital divide and can affect a student’s ability to:
- Complete homework
- Be academically successful
- Build the foundation for a successful career
- Take advantage of economic opportunities
Nationally, according to Pew Research Center, the gap looks like this:
- 15% of households with school-aged children do not have high-speed internet access at home.
- 17% of teens say they have trouble completing their homework because of lack of internet access.
- The numbers are even higher when it comes to minorities and low-income families.
- One in every four low-income teens do not have access to a laptop or desktop computer at home.
The Homework Gap in North Carolina
Researchers estimate that as many as half a million North Carolina students do not have the access they need to high-speed internet.
Closing the homework gap in North Carolina is one of our major goals.
Gathering the Data: Homework Gap Study
Accurate state and local level data on the breadth of the homework gap has been challenging to obtain. The lack of data made designing and implementing strategies to address the issue difficult.
As a result of directives outlined in the 2016 Connecting North Carolina State Broadband Plan, the Broadband Infrastructure Office partnered with the Friday Institute's Research and Evaluation Group at N.C. State University to conduct a survey to determine the extent of the homework gap in North Carolina and to convene educational technology leaders to brainstorm solutions to eradicate the Homework Gap.
The findings were part of a report, the Homework Gap in North Carolina, which equips state and local policymakers, educators and other key stakeholders with information to understand the homework gap and strategies to address it.