Closing the "Homework Gap"


Five million of 29 million US households with school-age children don’t have the internet at home. And seven in ten teachers assign homework that requires internet access, according to Jessica Rosenworcel, commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission. “When I was doing homework, all it took was paper, a pencil, and my brother leaving me alone. But today that’s no longer true,” she tells an audience at the Aspen Ideas Festival. She coined the term the “homework gap,” that reflects the divide between the expectation from teachers and reality. For many, she says just doing nightly homework is tough. She describes students “trying to download math assignments on a family mobile phone, searching for password-non-protected Wi-Fi, sitting in fast food restaurants to get your work done.” The answer to closing the gap and providing high-speed internet more broadly, she says, is a mixture of public and private sector policies. Watch the session.

With the kids heading back to school, catch up on other education-related Aspen Ideas discussions, like Beyond Test Scores: Educating the Whole Student for Success and Secrets of Successful Kids: Grit, Purpose, and Artificial Intelligence.


A Frayed Relationship

Violence on American streets this summer has highlighted excessive force and mistreatment of people of color by police. Officers have also become targets of violence. This episode of Aspen Ideas to Go examines the way forward for law enforcement. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and others, discuss efforts to repair the relationship between police and citizens. Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting service.


Browse the iTunes Room

Our iTunes room is your digital destination for Aspen Ideas offerings. The room includes books by Festival speakers, our Aspen Ideas to Go podcast, and 2016 Festival tracks arranged into iTunes U collections. Books by authors Rebecca Traister, Alec Ross and Cass Sunstein are found there, as well as podcast discussions with Bryan Stevenson, Michele Norris, and others. Enter the iTunes room by logging onto You will be redirected from your browser to iTunes.


Memorable Words
“It’s interesting that just the paint on my nails automatically puts me in a box.” — Bisi Alimi, Spotlight Health  
Bisi Alimi is a gay rights activist and directs the Bisi Alimi Foundation, which advocates for sexual and gender minorities in Nigeria. Listen to his talk What is Gender from Aspen Ideas.