McMaster announces new virtual initiative to reach S.C. students with limited, no internet access

McMaster announces new virtual initiative to reach S.C. students with limited, no internet access

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced Wednesday a $1.3 million investment to expand datacasting at SCETV and help reach students in rural areas across the state.

The governor, along with state Superintendent Molly Spearman and leaders of SCETV, South Carolina’s education and public broadcasting channel, made the announcement.

This initiative will benefit students in 34 school districts with limited or no internet access, state leaders said.

According to information from SCETV’s website, the channel’s staff and state education stakeholders will package standard-aligned content. That content is encrypted and sent to ETV’s network over a secured signal and is then transmitted to a student’s computer, tablet, or phone.

“We’re taking the schoolhouse to the child,” McMaster said.

In order to receive files via datacasting, a student will need a Wi-Fi enabled device, as well as an inexpensive antenna and receiver, according to information from SCETV. No internet access is required.

Spearman said funding comes from the CARES Act and through a $15 million grant the S.C. Department of Education received over a three-year period, the latter of which will provide students with the resources they need for datacasting.

Initial pilot school districts for the project are Fairfield, Jasper, and York One, according to SCETV staff.

For more on datacasting, click here.

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