State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board Awards Net Literacy Almost $100,000 For Financial Connects’ Financial Literacy Contest

State Farm Youth Advisory Board Financial Connects Announcement

Net Literacy challenges students to create financial literacy videos and games

Net Literacy, a digital literacy nonprofit comprised of local Indiana students, along with State Farm Insurance, announced a national competition allowing students will compete for more than one hundred monetary awards for creating videos and interactive games demonstrating the importance of financial literacy. The two organizations came together after Net Literacy received a digital learning grant of $100,000 from State Farm. Net Literacy plans to align the contest with the Indiana Department of Education’s recently established financial literacy standards, which are taught to all 6th through 12th grade students.

David Johnson, Net Literacy’s Student Chairperson and a sophomore at Northwest High School remarked, “We hope that many schools will use this contest as both a class project and an opportunity to engage students to learn about financial literacy.”

Net Literacy’s student board aggregated 200 “best of the web” financial literacy videos and interactive games after a review of more than 5,000 websites. The organization then constructed a website to serve as a resource to students, parents, and educators. The website will launch in April. Following the website project, Net Literacy proposed a grant to encourage students to learn more about financial literacy and use their knowledge to create videos and Interactive games that help their classmates have fun while learning about financial literacy. “Thanks to State Farm and State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board, Net Literacy will be launching a national competition where students can compete for more than 100 awards that will range from $250 to $1,000 for creating videos and interactive games that relate to financial literacy, said Johnson. “We hope that many schools will use this contest as both a class project and an opportunity to engage students to learn about financial literacy. Afterwards, the videos and interactive games will be consolidated on a website where they will be used as a financial literacy resource for students, educators, and parents. The creators of this content will win both a bit of fame and fortune, while helping increase financial literacy among across the country.”

State Farm’s generous grant gives Net Literacy the resources to implement the contest. The student-produced videos and interactive games will be consolidated on a national website where they will be used as a financial literacy resource for students, educators, and parents.

“I am proud that Net Literacy, an organization made of Indiana students, successfully competed for State Farm’s financial literacy grant. This is the type of service learning project that encourages student success, and I congratulate them on this endeavor,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett.

“State Farm supports service-learning because it combines service to the community with classroom curriculum in a hands-on approach to mastering subject material while fostering civic responsibility,” said State Farm Community Specialist Ed Perez. “The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is a prime example of State Farm’s commitment to education, our community and our youth.”

Visit www.statefarmyab.com for more information about the different projects being funded and about the Youth Advisory Board.

State Farm will present the check to Net Literacy at a press conference in Indianapolis on February 22, 2010.

More information is available by clicking on the Financial Literacy Contest tab and registering to receive email newsletter updates from this website.

State Farm

US Broadband Coalition Issues Adoption & Use Report to the FCC

In any national broadband strategy, adoption and use need to play a major role. We’ve seen numerous examples of broadband driving future applications that will enhance lives. Advances in education, health care and economic development are out there, and many Americans are going to need to increase their technological competencies in order to realize the benefits.

While the U.S. Broadband Coalition submitted a report on a national broadband strategy to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Sept. 24, it recently submitted another that offers more detailed policy suggestions.

The Broadband Adoption and Use Working Group, chaired by Charles Benton of the Benton Foundation; Link Hoewing of Verizon; Karen Archer Perry of the Knight Center of Digital Excellence, and Kenneth Peres of Communications Workers of America, collaborated with more than 30 authors representing over 25 different firms to create a new report that was delivered to the FCC Oct. 29 and will be showcased in a public forum at the FCC Hearing Room in Washington D.C. Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. EST.

“Broadband Adoption and Use: Bridging the Divide and Increasing the Intensity of Broadband Use Across All Sectors of the Economy,” is a robust document focusing on policy options that promote: inclusion, increased intensity of broadband use, interoperability, integration of broadband and technology into other programs, and expanded innovation. The report’s hundred plus policy ideas address each of these principles directly.

Inclusion

As more functions in our society move online, the cost of digital exclusion continues to escalate. Conversely, the value associated with any given Internet-enabled service increases as more people or devices access that service. This report includes specific recommendations to bridge the digital divide. Its universal design principles seek to bring access to people with disabilities. The benefits of broadband can potentially reach 40 percent of American adults who currently have inadequate or no access.

Intensity of Broadband Use

While broadband appears to be well integrated in some sectors of our nation’s economy, we’re actually in the beginning stages of broadband adoption as a whole. The potential to further leverage broadband technologies across society and the economy creates unparalleled opportunities to grow our economy and enrich lives.

The report covers a number of policy options designed to increase adoption and use in the areas of economic development, health care, public safety, education, energy and sustainability, and democracy and civic engagement.

Interoperability

While broadband developments to-date are founded on the natural interoperability of Internet Protocol (the method by which data is sent from one computer to another), more application-level interoperability is needed to accelerate development across sectors and constituencies such as in health care and public safety. The report points out where policy and standardization can drive additional deployment and create new, more effective use models.

Integration of Broadband into Everything

Broadband technology and Internet-based applications can no longer be managed and funded in “technology silos” of policy and investment. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is integral to social services, education, health care, safety, civic rights and engagement, and all other sectors of the economy. The report recommends ICT investment and policy be incorporated into other federal and state programs such as housing, social services, education, and health care as integral funded and mission-aligned program components.

Investment

Strategic investments such as those made through the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act’s broadband stimulus funding, Universal Service Funds and USDA Rural Health programs are critical to filling gaps in the market in terms of access, adoption and applications.

Innovation

The hallmark of the Internet age has been innovation. While change is necessary to broaden and deepen the impact of broadband across the U.S., changes must also preserve and encourage continued innovation at all levels of the economy and market. A number of recent studies have shown the Internet is the new platform for innovation not only in the U.S. but globally. Consider the number of new applications and devices over the past few years.

Could any of us have accurately predicted this exact kind of innovation would take place? Can we accurately predict the future possibilities that exist? Probably not.

But as the Coalition suggests, we can encourage policies that will “focus not on protecting status quo but in continuing to create a fertile environment for U.S.-based innovation, expansion as well as adoption and use.”

Over 30 industry experts from 25 firms contributed to “Broadband Adoption and Use: Bridging the Divide and Increasing the Intensity of Broadband Use Across All Sectors of the Economy,” In addition to the report co-chairs, Alcatel-Lucent, Net Literacy, Telcordia, Utilities Telecom Council, PC Rebuilders and Recyclers, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, OneCommunity and many others contributed to this report.

Each report section includes a statement on the opportunity, barriers and possible policy options to be implemented at the federal, state or local levels of government. While the report reflects a few areas of contention, there is strong overall agreement that increasing the adoption and use of broadband technology and services is good for America and for Americans.

With the Internet celebrating only its 40th birthday and search functions just over 10 years old, this is still a field in the early stages of growth and value. There is much we can do to create greater inclusion in adoption and to drive for greater value across those sectors where broadband is already in use and this report includes a menu of serious options for consideration.

Future events

The “Broadband Adoption and Use: Bridging the Divide and Increasing the Intensity of Broadband Use Across All Sectors of the Economy” report will be publicly released Nov. 13 and will be showcased in live and webcast events at the FCC Headquarters on the same day at 1 p.m. EST. Please go to www.BB4US.net for more details, or contact Karen Archer Perry at the Knight Center ([email protected]) or Don Kent at Net Literacy ([email protected]).

Credits – Knight Center for Digital Excellence