Town hall to address virtual learning and the ‘digital divide’ in Tampa

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — As more students turn to online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of them are at risk of falling behind.

The pandemic is shedding light on the digital divide between families who struggle with juggling zoom calls and whose Internet might not be fast enough to do online learning at home.

On Wednesday, State Representative Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) will host a virtual town hall to address digital access and e-Learning in light of COVID-19.

“The digital divide has been a long-standing issue in Florida, which has caused elected officials, community leaders, local service providers, and school districts to escalate efforts to expand broadband access to rural communities and to ensure economically-challenged Floridians have equal access to internet and digital technology,” Driskell said in a press release.

Among those attending the town hall are:

  • Fentrice Driskell, State Representative, Florida House District 63
  • Kathy Castor, Congresswoman, U.S. House of Representatives, District 14
  • Shaylia McRae, Chief of Transformation Network, Hillsborough County Public Schools
  • Leah Brown, Director, Government & Community Strategy, Charter Communications 
  • Damaris Allen, Immediate Past President of Hillsborough County Council PTA
  • Ralph Smith, CEO of Computer Mentors
  • Kim Jowell, CEO of Hillsborough Education Foundation
  • Liz Gutierrez Founder/CEO & Santos Morales, Director of Economic Prosperity of Enterprising Latinas

The town hall will take place at 6:30 a.m. and will be streamed on WFLA’s Facebook page.

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