A new documentary titled Without a Net: the Digital Divide in America premiered on the National Geographic Channel on September 26. Directed by Academy Award nominee Rory Kennedy, the film features LM as an example of the “digital divide” between high schools, or the disparities in technological resources. A primary focus of the film is the notion that the lack of reliable internet access in low-income schools limits opportunities and can leave students underprepared for the global economy. Meanwhile, students in well-funded schools have far greater access and thus better preparation. The film features Jameira Miller, a student from Penn Wood High School, who explains to the audience that she will most likely not use a computer during the school day. In contrast, LM students are also interviewed, including alumna Journey Byland ’17, who explains how Dawgma, LM’s robotics team, transfers code from their laptops into their robots, highlighting the high level of technology integration in LM’s culture. Though Byland thinks that “the one-to-one laptop program would have highlighted their point much better” than Dawgma did, she also says “It’s important that people are aware of the digital divide in the US education system, and I’m glad we were able to play a part in highlighting it.”
Without a Net is available to view in full on YouTube and on National Geographic’s website.