Maple, a provider of reliable, remote online access for students, announced the availability of its fully portable and pocket-sized connectivity solutions for closing the digital divide in rural and low-income communities. School leaders throughout the United States can partner with Maple to take advantage of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF) to give students a safe and reliable home internet connection that promotes online learning and unlocks opportunities.
Remote and hybrid learning is here to stay, making technology and at-home internet access essential for students to access academic resources. These basic tools that millions of students need are often unavailable to children in underserved and low-income communities, creating gaps in learning, reducing opportunities to advance, and threatening future goals. According to the Federal Communication Commission, nearly 17 million students lack at-home internet access—many of whom are from minority, low-income, and rural communities.
"Education is a human right," stated Michael Kadisha, Chief Executive of Maple. "Equal access to education is, in my view, the defining civil rights issue of our time. Regardless of location or economic status, all students today must have equal access to the internet to succeed.”
Maple and its leadership team have a proven history of creating solutions for education and serving students. At the outset of the pandemic, Maple provided Chromebooks and other technologies to support remote learning. They quickly realized that a computer or tablet is of little use without reliable internet access. To solve this, Maple partnered with StratusX to build the Maple Hotspot, a cellular, cloud-managed personal WiFi solution that connects students and educators to their digital classrooms from anywhere.
Maple hotspots eliminate the frustration associated with slow or 'spotty' service. When students in areas with limited mobile service utilize the Maple hotspot, they can reliably access the internet whenever and wherever they want.
"We are proud to partner with StratusX in this critical endeavor," Kadisha said. “Their unique patented technology prevents service disruptions as devices switch seamlessly between mobile carrier networks to capture the optimal signal at all times. This benefit is critical as it gives high-speed connectivity while avoiding downtime for students from any carrier facing weather disruptions, technical issues, or even poor reception in the students' location."
"With Maple's insights, experience, and guidance in the education sector, our team designed many specific features, including cloud-managed CIPA compliance to ensure safe access to content authorized by schools," explained Raviv Laor, StratusX's CEO. "With Maple, connecting online is always available, safe, and compliant."
While several other hotspot providers exist, Maple's school-centric solution uniquely addresses the needs of educators, students, and school leadership.
"This turnkey connectivity solution meets the specific demands of the education sector: schools have customized features to implement certain web surfing restrictions and verification options that ensure students have safe experiences online. Most importantly, the device's proprietary SIM management technology allows schools to connect, manage, configure and operate their fleets 100% remotely," said Laor.
"It is a win-win situation. Schools save time and students learn with the technology they need," Kadisha continued. "We are proud of our role in eliminating these easily addressable inequities that arise from a lack of online access and improving learning outcomes for all students."
Schools may use the funds they secure through the ECF program to procure Maple hotspots. A new application window opens on April 28 and runs through May 13, where schools may request 100% funding for student connectivity needs. Maple also provides schools with white-glove service, with end-to-end assistance from government funding applications to hardware setup and device deployment.
“We know that the Homework Gap is a financial and emotional burden for students," Kadisha said. "We can and will do better."
Maple provides trusted technology solutions for schools, students, and libraries that bridge the digital divide by delivering high-quality internet access that unlocks valuable educational experiences for students. Please visit https://www.mapleconnect.co/.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Maple spokesperson, please contact Dan Rene of kglobal at email@example.com or 202-329-8357