When schools shut down last spring, Nero Persaud balanced working from home and her two children’s remote-learning needs by “playing musical chairs” with her older laptop and iPad.
But after deciding to enrol her son and daughter in online schooling this fall, the Toronto mother signed up to borrow devices from the school board because she knew they would all require their own computers.
“The device has become a standard part of the educational arsenal, the same way as books and pencils,” said Ms. Persaud, a single parent who works in marketing.
Despite efforts by school boards to provide computers to students who need them for virtual schooling, many parents and experts worry the expansion of e-learning is exacerbating the gap between families who have access to computers and broadband internet and those who do not.
“The digital divide is real,” said Beyhan Farhadi, a post-doctoral