Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Comentarios from Maria: Education and Opportunity, the best way to Progress

Maria-CNN-Headshot“Latinos are at the forefront of the digital age.”

That’s the optimistic headline from a new Nielsen commentary on digital habits of Americans. According to the report, Latinos are society’s leaders in the adoption of new technologies and digital services. This includes web-based TV, smart phones and mobile-based videos.

It is worth remembering that Latinos are at the forefront of technology, given last week’s commitment from several high-tech companies to donate $ 750 million in wireless technology and services for U.S. schools. The announcement of AT&T, Apple and other companies was part of President Obama’s initiative to promote better learning opportunities in education.

In fact, the growth of education that comes from high-speed broadband is probably the best way to deal with the persistent education disparities in our schools. Distance education offers the promise of a better and more specialized learning nationwide. It is the great equalizer that allows students to access a first-level classroom regardless of where they live.

For Latinos, this potential benefit is particularly relevant. According to a 2013 Pew Hispanic Center analysis of U.S. figures, Hispanics continue to lag behind non-Hispanic whites in several measures of higher education. Young Hispanic college students (56%) are less likely than whites (72%) to be enrolled in a four-year college. They are also less likely to be full-time students who complete a bachelor’s degree.

Better preparation at the middle and high school levels is a crucial step in reducing these gaps, and distance education can be a key part of that effort.

To fully understand the potential that high-speed broadband has to revolutionize accessible education, just look at the new program of Computer Science at the University of Georgia Tech. Eight months ago, Georgia Tech became the first prestigious university to offer an online master’s program in Computer Science. Students may take all of their classes through a broadband connection and receive support services as part of their registration. Upon completing their studies, they receive a master’s degree.

Most revealing is that the cost of this program is only $ 6,600.That’s 80 percent less than the master’s program on the campus of Georgia Tech!

Systems with high-speed broadband can handle the growing demand for online education, there are no limits to the benefits for the Latino community.

 

This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic