The Dallas Independent School District and the Dallas Innovation Alliance are launching a new series of mobile learning labs. This program, dubbed Operation Alliance, was created to provide WiFi connectivity in order to deliver educational and life skills services to Dallas neighborhoods. These mobile learning labs are actually retired school buses that have been converted into large-scale hotspots, providing an impressive radius of free WiFi for members of the community. The article below does an excellent job of providing all the details behind the program, and tells the story about how it was delivered.

Like so many school districts this fall, the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) is finding creative ways to teach the 155,000 students that usually sit in its 230 schools. Faced with the pandemic-related shutdown in March and unclear about its fall plans, the DISD is preparing for remote learning, at least in some form.

The district has provided 80,000 student computers and 10,000 mobile hotspots for remote learning to cover the 30 percent of students who didn’t have Internet connectivity. Now, 95 percent of students are connected to teachers for home learning.

The technology outreach is part of a program called Operation Connectivity, which DISD created in conjunction with the Dallas Innovation Alliance (DIA) to address the non-connectivity problems in Dallas. The goal of Operation Connectivity is to provide Internet access and device solutions to Dallas neighborhoods with the highest percentage of non-connectivity. Dallas is ranked number one in Texas–and number six in the country–of urban cities with families without fixed Internet. Due to COVID-19 and the widespread switch to online learning operations in the school districts, the Internet has become a necessity, DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has said.

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