Initiative

How Uruguay’s Internet Initiative Transformed Its Education System

By Sarah Simon

Education inequality in the United States was a problem long before the internet. With new educational tools requiring internet access, that inequality has only magnified. A 2018 study found that one in five US teens “can’t finish their homework because of the digital divide,” especially among Black teens and those from lower-income homes.

Making education more accessible, and at the same time adapting it to a digital era, is a universal struggle. But the small South American country of Uruguay—as it gains recognition for its “successful fight against COVID-19”—already had the skeleton of an emergency plan in place; the pandemic helped to flesh it out.

Uruguay isn’t often top of mind for average the American, so the fact that it is one of six countries to have successfully implemented the one laptop per child program (OLPC) offers essential food for thought: How couldn’t I have known about

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L.A. schools announce massive COVID-19 testing, tracing initiative for all students and staff

Los Angeles Unified School District staff member Adrian Pacheco demonstrates the use of sanitizing tools as Supt. Austin Beutner takes a tour of Burbank Middle School. As the academic school year looms, preparations have been underway to make campuses safe. <span class="copyright">(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Los Angeles Unified School District staff member Adrian Pacheco demonstrates the use of sanitizing tools as Supt. Austin Beutner takes a tour of Burbank Middle School. As the academic school year looms, preparations have been underway to make campuses safe. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Unified School District announced Sunday that it is launching an ambitious coronavirus testing and contact tracing program for all students, staff and their families — aiming to create a path to safely reopening campuses in the nation’s second-largest school district.

If the plan unfolds as described, it could be one of the most detailed to date for an American school district, involving nearly 500,000 students and 75,000 staff members. It appears to be the most sizable, at least until the larger New York City school system clarifies how it will manage testing and contact tracing.

The L.A. testing program is not

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Kenneth Cole Enlists Students for ‘Make the Statement’ Voter Initiative

As the 2020 election approaches, Kenneth Cole has engaged students for an initiative titled, “Make the Statement,” to help increase voter turnout. The goal is to empower students to create a piece of artwork that sends a powerful message.

Cole approached design students, recent graduates and alumni asking them to use their typographical design prowess to create a piece of artwork that would stop online scrollers in their tracks. The company provided students with a choice of three election season messages: “If You Don’t Vote, We Don’t Exist,” “You Vote, We Exist,” and “Vote to Exist.” The students took these messages and used them to create things from simple illustrations to a graphic design to animation.

“I have always believed that for our democracy to work, we all need to ‘Stand up and show up, or shut up.’ I also believe that voting is not just a privilege; it’s a

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