Burton School District is located in California’s central San Joaquin Valley in a semi-rural, agricultural-oriented community. Burton serves many families that migrate throughout the school year in order to follow seasonal job opportunities and as a result, about 25 percent of their families do not have access to Internet. For the 2014-15 academic year, Burton Middle School implemented a 1:1 initiative as part of their new “1 to World” program and each student was given a Chromebook with a built-in data connection. Initially, Internet access was funded by E-rate, but in October, they received word their funding was in question. They needed to find an inexpensive solution that wouldn’t break the budget.
Through EveryoneOn, they found Mobile Beacon’s low-cost offer. Mobile Beacon supplied 150 HUB Express devices for the district in time for the children’s return after the 2014 Christmas holiday break. Parents in need applied and the children took home a device to keep until the end of the 2015 school year. A modem with a built-in Wi-Fi router, the HUB Express provides access to all in the household, and many parents have taken advantage of the opportunity to further their own education or research needs.
“Mobile Beacon really saved the heart of the program, which is closing the digital divide, so it’s been a life saver. It’s going to be a major part of keeping the integrity of our program and what we’re trying to do for the kids intact,” Alex Tietjen, Academic Technology Coach, said.
Burton School District is expanding their program from just one middle school to their charter middle school and high school, and hopes to continue working with Mobile Beacon to provide access to students in need. Mobile Beacon will continue to stay in touch and report back on future results.