COLUMBIA — The sudden shift to online learning right before quarantine caused change for every family. But for Black families, that change exposed the disparities in broadband access. Charity Martin remembers the struggles her family faced when Columbia Public Schools suddenly went online back in March 2020. "One minute they can talk to the teacher, see the teacher, next thing the whole thing is blank," Martin said. Martin's niece and nephew's Zoom often faced disconnects from spotty broadband during virtual school lessons. Zoom meetings were the norm during the switch to virtual learning last year. Daily Zoom users spiked from 200 million in March 2020, a huge increase from just 10 million in December 2019, according to CNBC, a sign of schools' increased use of the service for schooling. However, families with spotty broadband were left in the dark. A team of researchers at MU, comprised of post-doctoral fellow Adaobi Anakwe...
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