Rural UP schools implement ways to bring students internet

Many rural schools that do not have consistent internet are implementing ways to get more tech and internet in the classroom.
Published: Sep. 4, 2023 at 6:41 PM EDT
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L’ANSE, Mich. (WLUC) - Technology is now a normal tool in modern classroom settings.

However, some rural areas in the U.P. with less internet access or funding may not be able to use the latest tech in schools.

L’Anse Area Schools Superintendent Susan Tollefson said one of the ways they combat this issue is by adding Wi-Fi to school buses. She also says the use of technology makes learning easier for students.

“Having the Chromebooks available that the students can take home, especially at the junior, senior high school level is very helpful because a lot of them have textbooks and instructional materials that are online. So, instead of having to carry a lot of textbooks home, now they can have their computer with them and access online versions,” said Tollefson.

Technology in the classroom comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s a tablet, other times it’s a laptop, but it doesn’t stop there.

“We use Verizon Jet Packs, which is an internet source for students if they are displaced from their homes or temporarily in a different setting or just have a home situation where there isn’t internet available,” said Tollefson.

The Instructional Technology Director at the Regional Education Media Center Steve Kass said technology in the classroom allows students the opportunity to understand the tech of the real world.

He also said there are many federal programs that families can get access to for affordable internet.

“There is also the Affordable Connectivity Program, which is run through the FCC, where families can get a discounted internet service. I think it’s around $30 a month and that’s a really useful program,” said Kass.

Families looking for more information about the Affordable Connectivity Program can learn more at