Six Central Intermediate Unit 10 school districts are participating in a new Pennsylvania Department of Education initiative designed to connect students in areas with limited or no broadband access. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified the need for creative ways to connect remote students. The Connecting to Learning initiative is one such creative solution.
Connecting to Learning uses datacasting technology. Datacasting transmits information using Public Broadcasting System over-the-air signals. All seven Pennsylvania PBS stations are participating in the project. CIU 10 is working closely with WPSU, our local PBS station.
The first phase is beginning now. Teachers at each participating district will receive an antenna, a receiver, and a WiFi router to test in their homes. The teachers will add assignments using a web-based tool. The assignments and associated content is then broadcast to the home.
After teachers test the devices, student connectivity kits will be distributed. This phase will allow teachers to send assignments to students in remote areas with little or no Internet connectivity. Datacasting is a one-way signal. Students are able to return assignments using a landline phone, SMS messaging, or a smartphone app.
This exciting project will help students and educators in Centre, Clearfield, and Clinton Counties. The following CIU 10 school districts are participating in the Connecting to Learning pilot:
- Bald Eagle Area School District
- Clearfield Area School District
- Glendale School District
- Keystone Central School District
- Penns Valley Area School District
- West Branch Area School District
For additional information about Connecting to Learning, contact Diane Hubona.