Sprint grant offers free internet access
by Anthony Ngov
All freshmen, sophomores, Advancement Via Individual Determination (A.V.I.D.) and Pathways students received free phones as part of a grant from Sprint and the Sprint Foundation Aug. 29-31.
The phone model is a Motorola Moto E4 Smartphone that comes with 3GB a month of high speed LTE data. If all 3GB of data is used in less than a month, students will have unlimited 2G data. They also have access to unlimited texts, calls and free hotspot capability.
Many freshman, sophomore, A.V.I.D. and Pathways teachers plan to incorporate internet usage in their lesson plans or assignments more by apps, such as Socrative Student, which allows teachers to give students quizzes on their phones. In addition, internet can be accessed on the phones for research during discussion or assignments.
“I am excited that we are starting to use the phones in class, and it seems like it will be a huge benefit. So far, we have used the Socrative app for quizzes and the students use Google Forms to complete assignments at home. The phone is a supplement to the laptops we use in class for discussion and homework,” said Ami Szerensce, A.V.I.D. teacher.
Assistant Principal Gabriel Nadudvari is Schurr’s designated representative for the Sprint grant and helped with the distribution of phones.
“I think the grant is a great idea, and the phones will provide students with reliable internet access at home. According to recent studies done by Sprint, 70 percent of high school teachers assign homework that requires internet access,” said Nadudvari. “The distribution of the phones was definitely a team effort and it would not have been possible without the faculty.”
Sprint’s “1Million Project” provides free and fast wireless internet to U.S. high school students that meet certain criteria including no internet access at home, multiple students in the household having access to only one computer or having dial up internet at home. After the student graduates, the phone’s data, texting and calling plans will be deactivated, but it can still be used for applications, camera and more. If students lose or break the phones, they will not receive a replacement.
“The phone is decent and I have used it to look up many engineering things. We have a senior project that we need to be thinking about and I used it to research tips for a solar-powered boat. The phone definitely comes in handy because sometimes I use too much data, but I have this as backup,” said Jude Rios, junior.