Net Literacy Supports Connect to Compete’s 2015-2016 Indianapolis Launch with a Safety Awareness Campaign and Free Computers

Net Literacy starts the 2015-2016 school year by helping increase access to technology in areas within Indianapolis where more than 85% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunches.

Says Net Literacy’s Daniel Kent, “Our friends at Bright House Networks are launching Connect to Compete (C2C) in Indianapolis, and this initiative provides affordable broadband to low income families with K12 students. Now that qualifying families can receive broadband for less than $10 per month, we’re doing our part to help students be safe while having fun online and to provide parents a no cost option to obtain the technology that they’ll need to access broadband. IPS 51 is the first IPS school where’s there’s a formal school coordinated C2C launch, and we’re highlighting online safety with a challenge to the 3rd to 6th graders to write a few sentences about what they’d tell a friend, a classmate or a family how to be safe while having fun online. The 30 best entries, to be selected by Net Literacy student volunteers, will win netbooks or thumb drives (IPS 51 Safety Contest). In October at a school assembly, we’ll announce the student winners at a safety assembly where we’ll show some of our student created safety PSAs and short videos to help progress the students’ learning about online safety.

Also, we have more than 1000 computers in IPS’s warehouse to support families interested in participating in the C2C program but finding it difficult to afford purchasing a new or refurbished computers.

Finally, we’re conducting our 3rd annual IPS Students Against Bullying Awareness Contest and encourage students to become TV stars and youth heroes by helping spread the word about safety with an initiative that allows teens to become youth heroes and TV Stars…with lights, camera, action! While the campaign hasn’t officially launched yet, it will be similar to past year’s programs ( http://www.netliteracy.org/?p=6941).”

For more information, email me at danielkent(at)netliteracy.org

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!

__________

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

June 22nd Washington DC Broadband Adoption Summit a Success!

Blair Levin Receives Net Literacy Hero Award

With nearly 150 attendees and a “dream team” of speakers from the FCC, nonprofits, broadband providers, and other government organizations, the Broadband Adoption Summit was a success and thoughtfully discussed barriers to and catalysts that will enhance broadband adoption. Above, Net Literacy’s Daniel Kent presents a Net Literacy Hero Award to Blare Levin, the FCC’s Executive Director responsible for crafting the National Broadband Plan for Congress. Highlights of the summit, co-sponsored by Net Literacy, the US Internet Industry Association, and Broadband for America, can be viewed by clicking on this link.

The Summit was webcasted by the US Telecom Association and was videotaped by Broadband For America. The five media articles that were written will help increase awareness to digital inclusion and the importance of increasing broadband adoption. Net Literacy and the USIIA will jointly co-author a series of white papers further detailing the issues discussed during this summit.

Speakers included the key architects of the National Broadband Plan, including Blair Levin (FCC Executive Director), Brian David (FCC Director of Broadband Adoption), John Horrigan (FCC Director of Consumer Research), and Karen Archer Perry (Advisor, Adoption and Use National Broadband Plan Team). Trade associations addressing the Summit included USIIA CEO David McClure, US Telecom CEO Walter McCormick, and Fiber to the Home Council CEO Joe Savage. Other speakers represented national companies, including Bright House Networks, Dell, Intel, and Cisco Systems, among others.

US Telecom Association to Webcast "Broadband Adoption Summit"

The US Telecom Association has decided to webcast the Broadband Adoption Summit because of the importance of this conference.

At 9:05 on June 22nd – visit http://www.nextgenweb.org and you can watch the Summit live as it takes place.

The Summit’s agenda is at http://www.netliteracyalliance.org/blog

Wireless Communications Association Spotlights Net Literacy

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The Wireless Communications Association International (WCAI – www.wcai.com) spotlights Net Literacy as one of their 15 Cooperating Events and Supported Organizations, along with organizations including the Yankee Group, IEEE 802, IPv6 Forum, and the Wireless Communications Alliance.

WCAI Member Spotlight

Net Literacy Works with WCAI Members to Increase Broadband Adoption
The digital divide is expensive! It diminishes the quality of people’s lives, reduces their competitiveness and life options, and closes them off from a world of information, entertainment, and communications. The WCAI and its members are working together to make a difference while increasing broadband adoption in America.

Net Literacy (www.netliteracy.org) is a 501(c)(3) organization where high school and college students do all the volunteering and whose board of directors is 50% comprised of students. Net Literacy empowers youth to increase computer availability and Internet literacy focusing on underserved youth, families, and seniors citizens. It has increased computer access to over 130,000 individuals in four states. Increasing broadband adoption is good public policy, and US Senators Evan Bayh and Richard Lugar Co-Chair Net Literacy’s Honorary Board of Directors. The Honorary Board includes Lt. Governor Skillman, Congressmen, and Mayors. Net Literacy has been recognized by our nation’s leadership, from President Clinton in a NYC ceremony to President Bush in a White House ceremony.

The company’s initiatives are divided into five major programs:

1. Senior Connects Program – This program promotes senior citizen computer and Internet literacy by supplying computers and training materials; or by building public computer labs and teaching senior citizens (and especially those seniors that are mobility impaired or lack reliable transportation) computer and Internet skills. Senior Connects (www.seniorconnects.org) has provided many residents with their first access to public computer labs within their own facilities. The students do all of the installation, computer and software set-up and training – while the management of the facilities must agree to install and maintain Internet access for its residents.

2. Safe Connects Program – With Internet predators and chat room bullying, finding effective ways to educate children about Internet safety has become a critical issue and this Net Literacy program has established a “student-teaching-students/parents” model program for school systems throughout America. The program includes PSAs, 25 minute video presentations, and student presentations to other students. The program was jointly announced by the Indiana Department of Education and Net Literacy. More information about Safe Connects is available at www.safeconnects.org.

3. Community Connects Program – Computer Connects is another Net Literacy program that has built hundreds of computer labs to increase computer access to the underserved. Community Connects (www.communityconnects.org) provides a computer or computer lab to HUD and Section 8 apartments with 50 or more dwelling units, community centers, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, public libraries, and schools.

4. Computer Connects – Every Saturday, many schools gather to work together to repurpose thousands of computers in support of the Community Connects and Senior Connects programs. During weekdays, high schools and colleges also repurpose computers providing thousands of computers for schools. Schools use the computers to build computer labs, place computers in the classrooms, and provide computers to families not having a computer at their home. Student volunteers dispose of unusable computers in an EPA compliant manner, preventing computers and monitors from being delivered to landfills. Learn more by visiting www.computerconnects.org.

5. Financial Connects – Financial literacy is a required life skill, and America’s access to debt and credit is increasingly migrating to the Internet. Financial literacy provides students information that ranges from online banking to avoiding identify theft, and from how to find online scholarships and grants to how to save $100,000 – or many of $100,000s. A financial literacy portal containing a list of the 200 “best of class” online interactive financial games, videos, and calculators were aggregated after an exhaustive search of more than 5,000 financial literacy websites. The website will be launch in February at www.financialconnects.org.

Net Literacy’s programs are independently beginning to be developed by students from New York to California and around the world (www.netliteracyalliance.org). The US Internet Industry Association recently submitted a Filing to the FCC naming Net Literacy’s model as the preferred approach to reducing the digital divide in the United States. Net Literacy was selected by the European Union Study on Digital Inclusion as one of the 91 most promising good practice initiatives based upon an investigation of 32 countries including the EU Member States, the United States, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and India. Microsoft’s publication Innovating for inclusion: A Digital Inclusion guide for those leading the way, cites Net Literacy as one of the best of class digital inclusions examples. The US Broadband Coalition cited Net Literacy and its model several times as examples in its “Adoption and Usage Report” that was prepared for the FCC and has been featured in ads by Broadband For America, an organization co-chaired by Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell and former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr.

Net Literacy’s content and programs are available at no cost to all WCAI members.

Broadband for America Blog About Net Literacy

Net Literacy is a member of Broadband for America and today, the following blog was posted here.

Broadband for America

Net Literacy Works to Bring the Internet to Everyone

While the FCC has been working on a national broadband plan for Congress, much of the focus has rightly been on how best to make high-speed Internet access and adoption universal. When most people think about broadband access, they probably imagine the cables and construction tools behind broadband deployment. However, at Net Literacy, we focus on another area of the national broadband foundation that is equally important: providing computers for the public and teaching people how to safely navigate the web. http://www.netliteracy.org/index.asp

The digital divide can hit both children and seniors; families who cannot afford a computer at home, or the broadband services that power them, risk denying their children access to the same learning resources of their classmates. Likewise, seniors who have not made the jump across the digital divide are missing out on access to medical services, the convenience and privacy of online shopping and the opportunity to telework when physical restrictions may otherwise keep them out of the office. And everyone else in between is increasingly finding that most job listings are online.

That’s why our team of student youth volunteers work with our adult staff to increase computer access by creating public computer labs where we can teach basic computer and Internet skills to the community and educate both kids and parents about online safety. In 2003, we began our Senior Connects program, which helps bridge the digital divide by having students teach senior citizens computer skills on a one-to-one basis. The program has quickly spread across the state of Indiana. In addition, we publish many of our other materials online where anyone can use them. http://www.netliteracy.org/other_programs.asp

Getting broadband access to everyone in America is only half the challenge. The high-speed Internet adoption process also requires the computer training and knowledge to safely and smartly navigate the web whether you’re a grade school student or well into your retirement. Net Literacy is a BFA member for more information about them visit http://www.netliteracy.org

19 Net Literacy Alliance Chapters and Affiliates Participate in Mini-Grant Program

19 Net Literacy (www.netliteracyalliance.org) chapters made the deadline and are able to compete for one of three $1,000 grants to promoted digital inclusion.  While several Net Literacy chapters and affiliates did not meet the deadline to compete for the $1,000 grants, they will qualify for the Mini-Grant programs.  These grants will enable the chapters torepurpose hundreds of computers, teach Internet safety to elementary and middle school students, and help teach seniors and other computer and Internet skills.   Winners include:

a.      YWCA in the City of Marion (whose Net Literacy Chapter has recently combined with the Marion Housing Authority).

b.      Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School

c.      Arlington Community School

d.      John Marshall Community School

e.      TC Howe Community School

f.       Tech Force (at ITT Tech)

g.      Carmel Connects (Carmel High School)

h.      Northwest High School

i.       George Washington Community High School

j.       Providence Cristo Rey High School

k.      Connersville Middle School

l.       New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech

m.    New Tech School of IDEAS (Decatur Central High School)

n.      Eastview School (Connersville)

o.     IPS Off Campus Instruction School

p.      Rensselaer Central Middle School

q.      Net Literacy Chapter at Fort Wayne Housing Authority

r.       Net Literacy Chapter at Fort Wayne Urban League

s.      Net Literacy Chapter at Fort Wayne Community Schools

The competition was tough and the following schools will be invited to compete for a $1,000 grant – YWCA/Marion Housing Authority, IPS Off Campus Instructional School, New Tech School of IDEAS, New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech, and TC Howe. The following schools were recognized but did not receive enough points to qualify to compete for the next round of the $1,000 grant.  Congratulations since they received Honorable Mentions – Rensselaer Central Middle School, Providence Cristo Rey, Tech Force (ITT Tech), Net Literacy at Fort Wayne Community Schools, Northwest High School, Carmel Connects (Carmel High School) and John Marshall Community High School.  Again, congratulations to all.

Net Literacy Files Comments on Adoption to the FCC

Net Literacy (www.netliteracy.org) filed comments regarding adoption to the FCC on December 2nd and in response to GN Dockets Nos. 09-47, 09-51, and 09-137.  The 40 page document responded to dozens of question in the FCC’s request for comments, but the three most significant arguments Net Literacy made were:

– K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs and without a computer at home should be the National Broadband Plan?s highest priority.
–  A Digital Literacy Corps of student volunteers should be an important component of the National Broadband Plan.
–  Executive Order 12999 should be amended to provide K-12 schools a “right of first refusal” for all Federal Government computers deemed surplus.

The filing is available at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?z=yx57b&id=6015500723

Please contact Daniel Kent at [email protected] for additional information.