Most California Schools To Begin Year Online: Governor Newsom

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore on Flickr

Gavin Newsom, the Governor of the U.S. state of California, has said that almost all of California's 6.2 million students will begin school online by this fall and that the state is investing sizeably in laptops, tablets, and general technology needed to facilitate online learning. According to estimates, only about 70% of Californian school districts have the technology needed for virtual learning, hence the need to tighten up.

“We are preparing a large strategy, recognizing there are a lot of gaps and inequities that need to be addressed,” Newsom said in a statement. ‘We don’t want people [to just] take their lectures and videotape them and provide them online,” Newsom said. “This has to be a much more interactive process where we want to bring our students into the screen so they’re truly engaged. We want a more dynamic engagement to the extent possible. We want more specialized learning, especially for those with special needs. We want challenging assignments. We don’t just want people to dial it in.”

So far, officials across the state of California have sent 73,000 laptops and tablets to school districts as well as established 100,000 WiFi hotspots. An additional 87,000 WiFi hotspots have also been established by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Before now, state officials had provided more than 18 million masks and face shields to schools as well as tens of thousands of no-touch thermometers to help facilitate possible in-person learning.

California in particular has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with over 613 thousand confirmed cases and about 11,000 deaths formally recorded so far.