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"Learning Curve" Examines The Educational Digital Divide, Worsened By Pandemic

Young student at home with a mask, pencils, and laptop
Some students are having trouble connecting for remote learning.

Nearly a million more Ohioans will be eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, beginning tomorrow. Phase 2 of Ohio's vaccine rollout plan will be underway, and will be open to individuals 60 and older.

Governor Mike DeWine made the annoucement at his COVID-19 briefing Monday, and also laid out additional groups, such as certain essential and emergency workers, that will also be eligible beginning Thursday.

Today on the program we'll discuss the latest happenings out of Columbus regarding the fight against COVID-19.

Later on the program, another installment of our ongoing reporting collaborative "Learning Curve." This week's focus is on the digital divide; a student's access to reliable and up to date technology as well as an internet connection.

With the onset of the pandemic, and schools needing to move to remote models, internet access, a device, and basic tech supports, became the equivalent of paper and pencils.

And the pandemic only exacerbated accessibility issues that already existed. The last 12 months have shown that low income students, as well as students in rural districts faced greater challenges in keeping up with the education.

Here in Northeast Ohio there's a wide range of school districts in terms of income and geography, perfectly illustrating the challenges in remote learning and technological access.

From WKSU, Amanda Rabinowitz and Foluke Omosun will join us and share some of their reporting.

Finally, we learn about a new exhibit at The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage that looks back at the life of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

It's called "The Notorious RBG", and traces it's origins back to an internet meme that helped launch the Justice to status as a pop-culture icon.

- Karen Kasler, Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau

- Amanda Rabinowitz, Reporter and Morning Edition Host, 89.7 WKSU

- Foluke Omosun, Freelance Reporter, 89.7 WKSU

- David Schafer, Managing Director, The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

Drew Maziasz is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.