Updated: Aug 4
Help us maximize the Endless Key’s impact for students during the 2022–23 school year.
The Endless OS Foundation is a nonprofit focused on designing technology that provides equal access to education for all. In response to the pandemic, which caused millions of students within the US to lose access to the education system due to lack of connectivity at home, we launched the Endless Key, a 128GB USB drive full of educational and learning resources, providing access to a breadth of material even when students are offline. We have donated hundreds of these devices to affected students via partnerships with Techbridge Girls and 49ers EDU and have thousands more on the way to students in-need.
The Endless Key has two main limitations, however. It is only compatible with Windows PCs and laptops, and it requires us to provide your students with the special Endless Key USB device; our supply is heavily limited.
We are now seeking to greatly extend the reach of our initiative by offering the Endless Key as a downloadable app which does not require the special USB device. By using our new app, students can easily download the Key’s extensive content while online at school, before accessing the content for self-guided learning while offline at home. The Endless Key app will be free of charge; we seek to benefit as many learners as we can.
There are multiple challenges in developing and launching this app. We are determined to help offline students, but to make this a reality, we need help from US-based educators/administrators well-versed in this space. We have gaps in our knowledge about the way that educational devices are configured and used within the US school system, and need to ensure that the software we are building meets the needs of learners in the best way possible.
We would love to work with you to get your on-the-ground knowledge and input, to help us steer and maximize the Endless Key’s impact during the 2022–23 school year.
As a starting point, we are looking to conduct 60-minute conversations with educators, teachers and technical staff at educational institutions/organizations who meet the following criteria:
Based in the United States
Energized by our nonprofit mission to #KeepAllKidsLearning
Involved in the coordination of a classroom, school, camp, club or other group of students of the 6-18 years of age
Students within this group have Chromebooks or Windows laptops and take them home
At least 10% of students within the group are believed to lack internet connectivity at home
Our conversation will be conducted via private video-call, based on the list of questions you can find below. We do intend to publish generalized information about what we learn through these efforts, however information about your involvement and your specific responses will be kept private.
To recognize your time and valued contribution to our efforts, we’re offering a $100 Amazon voucher, or a $100 donation to a registered US charity of your choice.
If you are interested, your participation could develop into an opportunity to be an early tester of the Endless Key app with your students, providing you and your students with a valuable opportunity to influence the development of this impactful learning platform.
Please introduce yourself and the organization/school you are associated with.
Please tell us a bit about the profile and demographics of the students that attend the courses/programs where you are involved.
What types of computers does the school/program currently use?
What are the device specifications? How much storage is available on these devices?
How were these devices acquired and distributed?
Are the devices on loan or do the students own them?
How long do the students keep the devices, do they need to return them?
What Mobile Device Management software is in use?
What restrictions are in place for students regarding accessing content (online and offline)?
Do students use a different account for personal use of the device, where fewer restrictions are applied?
Can students personalize their devices? To what extent? Which restrictions do they have?
What would be needed in order to permit a new educational app (such as Endless Key) to be installed on students’ devices?
For Chromebooks, if you have access to the Google Admin interface, are you able to share with us specific configuration items:
Which apps have been explicitly force-installed, allowed and disallowed?
What is configured for Devices→Chrome→Settings→Users & browsers→Hardware→External storage devices
What is configured for Devices→Chrome→Settings→Device→Sign-in settings→User Data
What is configured for Devices→Chrome→Apps & extensions→Users & browsers→Additional application settings→Permissions & URLs
What is configured for Apps→Additional Google Services→Google Play→Service Status
How much free disk space do you typically encounter on student’s computers?
To the extent that school policies permit additional apps to be installed (beyond apps that are configured for automatic installation), to what degree do you find that such apps are actually being installed and used?
To such a degree that additional apps are installed and used, who is it that prompts for this to happen? Do students actively seek out these apps themselves? Is it educators that ask students to install specific apps? Do parents get involved with app installation decisions?
To what degree do such extra installed apps have an educational focus or learning benefit, versus being more focused on entertainment?
Approximately how many students have unstable, or no Internet access outside of school?
How does your student’s school-external computer experience fare when there is no internet access?
Are any measures being taken to address the gap between home-connected and non-connected students?