I grew up about as far from Napoleon ND as possible — just outside The Bronx — and I always say that ‘whatever we didn’t have, everything in the world was just a jumped turnstile away.’

My life since then has taken me to other places, in Michigan and Virginia, not places even as remotely as remote or small as Napoleon, but places as far from what the central currents of America know. And I have learned that this separation from the world is indeed the greatest difference maker.

So I was fascinated by the quality of connection in Napoleon, and I contrast that with the Virginia County I now work in (in schools) where 70% of the land area still has no access to broadband at all — cable nor wireless — and thus still little access to the world in the mountain hollers that define too many of our kids.

This is why we are so determined to build the school system’s own LTE network that will connect our kids at home, and so committed to building out fiber to every school so our kids can connect with the world.

When I go to New York or Washington on business I still find that isolation is the problem our decision makers least understand. I am hoping that in your elegantly written tale some may learn about that isolation, but that they won’t imagine that it has all been fixed by now.

  • Ira Socol

Author, Dreamer, Educator: A life in service - NYPD, EMS, disabilities/UDL specialist, tech and innovation leader for education. Co-author of Timeless Learning

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