Sharon Contreras on bridging the digital divide

Thought leaders share ideas with WorkingNation Overheard at SXSW EDU 2022

The digital divide has been exacerbated by the pandemic – as students struggled with remote learning due to limited or no broadband access.

Sharon Contreras, Ph.D. is superintendent of Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina and part of the Chiefs for Change – a bipartisan network of K-12 education leaders whose districts serve more than 7 million students across the U.S.

WorkingNation sat down with Contreras at SXSW EDU in Austin.

She saw firsthand the challenges faced by the students in her district noting, “About 20% of our students did not have access to broadband connectivity or high-speed connectivity. They could not even participate in school as a result. Many of our parents didn’t even have devices other than cell phones, and some did not even have cell phones.”

Contreras says the Chiefs for Change shares monthly the innovation that is occurring in districts across America.

“There’s just so much to learn from how other school districts and other states handle problems. Every state is different with respect to their state laws and what’s allowable. Sometimes we hear about practices that requires some advocacy in our home states. We go back and we advocate.”

Learn more about Chiefs for Change.
Learn more about Guilford County Schools.