Full STEAM Ahead: What is our bold idea?
Updated: Jan 18
Offline learning resources for everyone!
The Endless Key team traveled to the West Coast on October 1-2 to attend the California STEAM Symposium in Anaheim. Despite some logistical snafus, including a train that did not run as scheduled, we were able to push full “steam” ahead and present our vision for digital equity to dozens of education stakeholders.
The conversations we had were passionate and plentiful. It was immediately clear that educators are dedicated to providing their learners with access to high-quality and engaging learning tools and resources. It was also clear that the need for accessible resources is real. We met teachers who reported that over 50% of their students do not have access to the internet at home. We were introduced to administrators who spoke of unreliable internet access at schools. We spoke to community leaders and content creators who are looking for ways to bring essential information to learners who face connectivity and accessibility barriers. And we met some top-notch students who were there to show us the amazing things they can accomplish when given equitable access to resources within a rich learning environment.
We met teachers who reported that over 50% of their students do not have access to the internet at home.
On the second day of the conference, a whiteboard and a pile of nearby markers greeted attendees at the door. The question on the board asked, “What is your bold idea?” Some of the answers included “Do what you love,” “Use what you have,” and “High Quality STEM Ed for ALL.”
At Endless OS, we are focused on doing all of these things! Our visit to the STEAM Symposium reinforced our passion for the product we are creating and the people we are trying to reach. We have accepted the challenge to deliver content to offline learners using the limited resources available to them, like intermittent Wi-Fi and devices with low storage capacity. And we care deeply about providing all students with high-quality and easy-to-navigate content across all disciplines, including STEAM.
Our bold idea is grounded in equity. We want all learners to have access to curiosity-based learning experiences, regardless of their connectivity. Our Endless Key app, which works offline and online, can be installed on Chromebooks and Windows devices. Learners can explore dozens of learning resources that are carefully curated to provide academic enrichment, opportunities for extended learning, and interest-based options like coding, arts & crafts, cooking, and career exploration.
We are more energized than ever to produce a solution for digital inequity that has the potential to change lives. We are excited to continue refining our roadmap with our partner organization Learning Equality, as together we support self-guided learners. We are grateful for the content providers who have partnered with us to offer engaging, culturally-responsive, and safe content for our audience. And, our team is ready to work alongside educators and put this content in the hands of all kids so they can extend their learning beyond the four walls of a classroom, regardless of any barriers they may face.
If you are interested in learning more about the Endless Key program, please visit our website at endlessos.org/key.
Author - Heather Drolet
Heather is the Content Manager at the Endless OS Foundation. As a lifelong learner and educator, Heather is passionate about equitable learning environments that prepare learners to be the problem-solvers of tomorrow while promoting a spirit of curiosity, creativity, and failing forward.