An Email From a Parent

One of six Net Literacy's summer programs
One of six Net Literacy's summer programs

This is an email from a parent whose 4th grade child is on a free lunch program and did not have a computer at home. Her daughter just received a Net Literacy computer so that she could complete homework assignments.

Dear _________,

I wanted to let you know what was on my computer. I have to say my computer came with everything a person could need to get started.
• It had OpenOffice.org which is a free office software that does everything Microsoft Office does including databases and you can save files in just about any office format.
• It also had AVG 9 Free Version, which is antivirus software. You can advise parents that there is an updated version called AVG2011 Free version available at download.cnet.com.
• the operating system is Windows XP, and IE 8.
• The RAM is 512, which the minimum to run XP effectively. I opened mine up and found that the RAM can be increased to above 700. In otherwords, it’s fast but you make it zoom.
• Another plus is if you live in an area with free wi-fi, there is space to insert a wi-fi pc card or you use a UBS adapter to connect to the internet depending on how comfortable you are with taking a computer apart. Its a great machine.
• Net Literacy really hooked it up! Thanks !

Thanks you!

__________

Computer Connects Continues to Provide Computers to Increase Students Success and Digital Literacy

Bright House Networks Delivering Computers
Bright House Networks Delivering Computers

Computer Connects is one of Net Literacy’s six core programs, and during the last three years alone, over 11,000 computers have been donated to schools, churches, libraries, senior centers, community centers, and other nonprofits. In 2010, over 500 computers have also been donated to 95 United Way agencies in 18 counties as part of a partnership with the Indiana Association of United Ways and Net Literacy.

Today, 33 schools ordered 3,300 computers for the 2010-2011 school year, which will enable Net Literacy’s student chapters to continue to provide computers to schools and nonprofits.

Last month, Bright House Networks donated their 5,000th computer to schools under the Net Literacy program since they began supporting this program in 2003. The Techpoint Foundation donated $4,000 (out of $12,000 grant) to enable Net Literacy to provide computers for computer labs in youth-related organizations throughout the State. The Techpoint Foundation has supported Net Literacy since 2004. The Department of Education is considering providing funding to enable Net Literacy to expand this program to additional schools around the State. Lt. Governor Becky Skillman (a Net Literacy Honorary Board Member) has asked Net Literacy’s student volunteers to provide additional technology to Indiana’s rural counties, and Net Literacy’s student volunteers are working to increase access and honor her request.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Techpoint Foundation Increases Funding to Net Literacy by 50%

Techpoint Foundation
Techpoint Foundation

The Techpoint Foundation was instrumental in the creation of Net Literacy, providing Net Literacy its first funding by matching a grant from Bright House Networks in 2004. Since then, the Techpoint Foundation has continued to support Net Literacy by also providing mentoring, guidance, and advocacy. In 2005, Techpoint Foundation Vice Chair Marv Bailey joined the Net Literacy Board of Directors and in 2009, Techpoint Foundation Board member Damon Richards joined the Net Literacy Board of Directors.

In 2009, Net Literacy’s Student Executive Committee (Will Petrovic, Brian Kelley, and Daniel Kent) submitted an $8,000 grant request which supported 20 of Net Literacy chapters’ volunteering efforts. The chapters also competed for four $1,000 grants and the winning schools’ programs ranged from conducting summer camps that repurposed hundreds of computers and constructed a website, to teaching hundreds of elementary school students Internet safety skills. The Student Executive Committee was also involved in the selection and awarding of the grants to the chapters.

In 2010, Net Literacy’s Student Executive Committee requested last year’s combination of chapter mini-grants and $1000 grants be continued, and also applied for an additional $4,000 to help expand the use of technology to youth-oriented nonprofits in rural Indiana interested in building or expanding computer labs, for a $12,000 grant request.

The additional $4,000 will enable Net Literacy to continue its program of increasing computer access throughout the State, as requested by Net Literacy Honorary Board member Lt. Governor Skillman in 2009. Working with the Indiana Association of United Ways, Net Literacy has distributed 500 computers to 17 United Ways serving 85 agencies to date in 2010 – and the Techpoint Foundation’s additional funding, together with funding from Intel, will enable the program to expand into more than a dozen new counties during the 2010-2011 school year.

Please contact [email protected] for additional information.

Clowes Fund and Hoover Family Foundation Support Net Literacy, Again!

Hoover Family Foundation

Net Literacy is grateful for the Clowes Fund’s and the Hoover Family Foundation’s continuing support for Net Literacy’s digital literacy and digital inclusion projects.

After funding Net Literacy’s 2009 summer program, in 2010, the Hoover Family Foundation provided Net Literacy an annual grant of $10,000.

The Clowes Fund has supported Net Literacy since 2008, and this year, the Clowes Fund granted Net Literacy $17,500 for the years 2010 and 2011.

This funding enables student volunteers to repurpose thousands of computers each year which are donated to schools and nonprofits. Since 2003, Net Literacy has increased computer access to over 150,000 individuals. During the last three years, Net Literacy has donated over 11,000 computers. Research shows that as an independent variable, students with a computer at home are 6-8% more likely to graduate from high school. We couldn’t make a difference and be providing the computers we refurbish and our digital literacy services at no cost without the support and advocacy of our partners.

Thank you – Clowes Fund and the Hoover Family Foundation!

Respectfully,

Daniel Kent

The Clowes Fund

Digital Literacy Endorsed by the I-Alliance

i-alliance

Net Literacy presented its new Digital Literacy “best practices” website at South Africa’s iWeek Conference. The “best practices” website that focuses on digital inclusion and digital literacy was acclaimed by Internet Service Provider associations from India to South Africa; and they asked to become Digital Literacy “best practices” partners. Meanwhile in America, the Wireless Communications Association International joined a growing number of Digital Literacy partners ranging from Intel to the US Internet Industry Association to Internet Industry Association, in Australia.

Also, Net Literacy met with the International Internet Industry Alliance and the Alliance decided to include digital inclusion and digital literacy as one of their five top priorities for the sharing of information so that digital literacy and digital inclusion can be facilitated. Digital Literacy’s website shares international digital inclusion and digital literacy “best practices” and helps the Alliance achieve their goals. Net Literacy was honored by being invited to join the Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of ISP Association that represent over 200,000 Internet-related organizations in five continents.

For more information, contact [email protected]

net_lite(R)_jpg

Digital Literacy "best practices" Launches

Digital Literacy Best Practices
Digital Literacy Best Practices

Net Literacy asked to create an international digital literacy best practices website.

Following the Broadband Adoption Summit jointly conducted by Net Literacy, the USIIA, and Broadband for America and after a meeting in Hong Kong and in conjunction with numerous NGOs, IPSs, and trade associations, Net Literacy is launching the first international digtial inclusion “best practices” website. Still in the construction phase with hundreds of best practices already submitted and not yet entered into the database, the beta website can be viewed by clicking on Digital Literacy.

Net Literacy will begin an outreach program to gain input and suggestions for the website as it is further enhanced at conferences including:

iWeek on September 15-17 in South Africa – click on the link

Broadband Expo on November 1-3 in Dallas, Texas – click on the link

ISPs, Broadband trade associations, and nonprofits are sending their support and best practice submissions. During the first two weeks, we’ve received the support of the following organizations (which excludes the Wireless Communications International Association that we received just minutes ago). Net Literacy CTO Brian Kelley and Student President Daniel Kent constructed and posted the website.

Digital Literacy Supporters
Digital Literacy Supporters

One-on-One Training Works When Other Instruction Doesn’t

Seniors and those with disabilities often learn best via one-to-one training
Seniors and those with disabilities often learn best via one-to-one training

Some senior citizens, new immigrants, those with disabilities, and others have taken computer training in past without success. Those individuals tend to be more technophobic and many believe that they cannot learn because the are “too old” or for other reasons. One NGO using the Senior Connects model has experienced a 90% “graduation rate” with this type of populations group – but it involved teaching these individuals on a one-to-one basis so that the lessons covering the materials in the training manual could progress at a pace that was comfortable for the “student.” Because Senior Connects pairs high school students to teach senior citizens, the student volunteers are able to identify the value proposition (e.g., email friends and family, researching health issues, and instant access to news and weather) for each individual that they are instructing. This, together with the social aspect of the “senior citizen students” telling others that it wasn’t as hard as they thought encourages others to give digital literacy training a second chance.

Users’ Value Propositions Creates Digital Literacy Context

Learning how to use a computer is necessary to find a high paying job
Learning how to use a computer is necessary to find a high paying job

Digital Literacy is a process. It includes identifying a prospective user’s value proposition and overcoming barriers, concerns, and misconceptions about accessing the Internet, teaching computer and Internet skills, educating the user about Internet safety, providing those applications and websites that make use of the Internet relevant to the user, technical support, and of course, broadband connectivity. Some NGOs reinforce a new users’ value proposition during each training session, allowing the last 10 minutes of each hour training session to discuss what is important to the new user and thereby reinforcing the importance of broadband, digital literacy, and the Internet.

NGOs use Digital Literacy to Create a Cycle of Philanthropy

Children learn about philanthropy when NGOs explain their mission and engage the youth
Children learn about philanthropy when NGOs explain their mission and engage the youth

Many NGOs teach philanthropy by example – and children, when offered an explanation, embraced the concept of “giving back to others” at an early age.  The Digital Generation seems to take to technology more readily than other generations, and the mastery of technology will be increasingly important to this generation’s ability to compete and enjoy the richness that will be increasingly most accessible via broadband and the Internet.  Also, children that are the beneficiaries of computer labs and computer training often become the next generations’ teachers and philanthropists.

Digital Connects Launches Alpha 1.0

Digital Connects Launches Alpha V1.0 on September 3, 2010

A work in process

At the request of ISP associations, broadband providers, NGOs, businesses, and governments, Net Literacy was asked to create a digital literacy “best practices” website. Construction of the website began on August 25th, testing began on August 27th, and the Alpha v1.0 of this site was launched on September 3, 2010. Additional website functionality is in the process of being added. More than a dozen partners/contributors/supporters from three continents have already provided over 350 “best practice submissions.” We will be adding them once we complete the basic functionality of this site. There is no cost to use or submit best practices on this site – and we appreciate the international community’s support, suggestions, and comments.

Digital Literacy will officially launch on October 21st in celebration of our Afterschool Alliance Lights On campaign.  More about this program that promotes government support for afterschool programs that help working families, keep students safe, and increase students success can be found by clicking on this link.

Please send all comments to [email protected] and thank you for increasing broadband adoption, digital inclusion, and digital literacy!