As a member of the Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition, NPower Maryland’s Placement Director, Sid Wilson, spoke at a press conference requesting Comcast help close the digital divide for households that lack access.
2. Learning Style
We focus on differentiated learning and preparing our students for the complexities of working in the corporate environment. This requires the ability to be nimble, digest information quickly and be imaginative with presenting information. In the virtual classroom, instructors don’t often have instant gratification from students—nodding their heads in class—so we had to teach our instructors to proactively call on students to ensure they participated and were engaged in dynamic learning endeavors. Before COVID-19 our teaching called on our students to memorize information, now we have shifted our model with more balance between lecture, project-based scenarios, case studies, effective learning (articulating what they’ve learned) and hands-on labs.
3. Bridging the Digital Divide
Over a third of NPower students either lacked equipment, internet access or both, which limited their level of participation in learning. Some students are home with their children, living in a shelter, or need to take time away to secure food for their families. So we had to address all those things. We created a contract to loan students the laptops and wifi cards they would need to stay connected. We took the leap of faith that many students could do more self-study on their own time or until the technology was in place. And the students adapted amazingly. We found that students who were typically quiet in face-to-face class, were actually more vocal online. And our extroverted students still found ways to socialize like they did before.