Bark Technologies Partners with Stratix Corporation to Launch First Mobile Education Technology Program
Companies Come Together to Help Bridge the Digital Divide and Keep Students Safe Online
August 11, 2020 – ATLANTA – Of the numerous challenges educators have faced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, none has shed more light on digital inequity than distance learning. That divide is now being addressed — one student at a time — thanks to a new partnership between Stratix Corporation and Bark Technologies. Stratix is a leading provider of managed mobility services in the U.S., and Bark’s comprehensive online safety solutions provide content monitoring, screen time management, and web filtering to millions of families in the U.S. — as well as free monitoring and filtering to schools.
Working together to serve Detroit Public Schools, the two Atlanta-based companies will deliver 1:1 remote learning capabilities for 22,000 K-12 students across 12 different districts just in time for the start of the 2020 back-to-school season. Students will receive a Chromebook (and accessories) configured with G Suite for Education and carrier-activated hotspots upon request. The devices will also be outfitted with Bark’s online monitoring and filtering tools — powered by its sophisticated AI — to help keep students safe. The program includes ongoing repair and support for students and their devices.
“Given the current circumstances, the rollout of this program is dire as it will pave a brighter path for our students, teachers, and administrators,” says Christine Burkette, former CIO of the Detroit Public Schools Community District and current CEO of PICF, Inc. “The ability to deploy devices and Wi-Fi connectivity along with added security and support features at scale is invaluable. It will allow our students to succeed in our new normal and close the digital divide in our school districts across the state of Michigan.”
While many districts remain unsure about whether their schools will open their doors in the fall, equipping students with both devices and support helps level the playing field for even the most economically vulnerable of students. “With many schools extending distance learning into the fall and beyond, there has never been a greater need for added safety measures online,” said Bark founder and CEO Brian Bason. “Now, through our partnership with Stratix, we are not only working to bridge the digital divide by providing fully-loaded devices and tech support to students in need, but we are adding a critical level of protection for these students no matter where they learn.”
The Detroit Public Schools pilot program is slated to be the first of many serviced by the Stratix–Bark partnership with the goal of providing students with the essential, protected devices and support needed for distance learning. Nationwide, only 24% of public school teachers reported that all of their students had access to a computer or tablet to use for schoolwork. The new program will help narrow this gap while offering schools value-added device support, security, and logistics services to ensure continuity in education.
“Stratix has deep knowledge of the issues facing schools, educators and administrators, and students and their families, along with a genuine passion to help,” said Louis Alterman, CEO of Stratix. “Alongside Bark Technologies, we provide a sustainable solution to close the digital divide, enabling all students to work safely and have the support they need for remote learning on their mobile devices. This 360-degree program holistically covers students experiencing the transition to virtual learning, now and looking beyond the pandemic.”
For more information about Stratix’s SmartMobile Education Technology program, visit: https://www.stratixcorp.com/education
For more information on how schools can use Bark for Schools, visit: www.bark.us/stratix.
Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives. The award-winning service monitors 30+ of the most popular apps and social media platforms for signs of issues like cyberbullying, suicidal ideation, online predators, threats of violence, and more while web filtering and screen time management tools empower families to set healthy limits around the websites and apps their kids can access and when they can visit them. After the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, Bark extended its suite of online safety services to all K-12 public and private schools in the U.S. — at no cost to them or their communities — and is trusted by more than 2,300 school districts nationwide.