MetaGeek Blog

Connecting Everyday People with Rampart for Education

MetaGeek's Rampart for Education initiative gives anyone involved in remote learning 90 days free access to Rampart Home.

Ryan Woodings

Ryan Woodings

11/16/2020

Tags

Rampart

Last month I wrote about focusing MetaGeek on connecting everyday people for essential activities. Today I'm excited to share our new Rampart for Education initiative allowing anyone involved in education - teachers, students, parents of students, etc., free access Rampart for Home for 90 days. No credit card required, no strings attached.

Thinking about all the teachers and parents that are trying so hard to maintain some kind of normalcy for their children and help them continue to learn while dealing with COVID-19 - throwing WiFi and networking issues into the mix can frankly be overwhelming. When we started exploring how to help improve WiFi for everyone suddenly working from home, we started talking to friends and family about their experiences. One of the most impactful discussions I had was with my neighbor Kelly.

Kelly teaches kindergarten and also has three elementary school kids of her own. In the spring after lockdown began our local school district was caught a bit off guard and didn't have a plan for continuing education for the school year, but teachers checked in once or twice a week with students to ensure the students were doing okay. As you can imagine, Google Meet calls with kindergarteners is not an ideal experience.. And it was the best that she could do.

Kelly's DSL Modem/WiFi Access Point is in her kitchen where CenturyLink installed it ten years ago. So the best WiFi in the house is in the kitchen, which is also the WORST room to try to teach in, because the rest of the family congregates in the kitchen. In order to get privacy she had to go two rooms away, but the WiFi coverage by then gets spotty and sometimes the Google Meet call would just freeze and drop on her. The only way to fix it was to unplug the DSL modem, which takes a minute to get connected again. By the time she rejoined the Google Meet all the kindergarten students had left the meeting and she'd have to email the parents to reschedule the class meeting for the next day… and cross her fingers that the WiFi would work better tomorrow.

For most of the 2020/21 school year Kelly has been able to teach from her classroom using a hybrid model (half the students at a time, everyone masked), but our school district just announced that due to the extremely high rates of COVID-19 in our community, the schools are struggling to stay staffed and are switching back to all-virtual until at least mid-January. So, Kelly will once again be dealing with her home WiFi every day as she strives to provide some sense of normalcy to her kindergarten students in a virtual classroom.

The Rampart for Education initiative is designed for Kelly and everyone in similar situations — whether you are a teacher trying to stay connected with your students or a parent trying to keep your kids connected with their class. If you have WiFi issues, Rampart Home and the WiFi-savvy MetaGeek community might be able to help.

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