What is the Net Literacy Alliance?
The year was 2008 and hundreds of trade associations across the United States helped organize their membership in the verticals that they served; facilitating communications, vetted good practices, and creating synergy among their members. However, organizations that shared a digital inclusion and digital literacy mission had no such association and the occasional digital inclusion forums and conferences that were conducted had a history of being unsustainable.
In 2009 when the FCC called on the public to provide input and comment as a National Broadband Plan was created, Net Literacy participated in many groups, co-authored several white papers, and served on adoption and use committees.
That year, Net Literacy also formed the Net Literacy Alliance, launching a website in May, 2009. The mission of Alliance is to serve as a destiny for the collaboration of organizations with a shared mission of digital inclusion to collaborate, discuss good practices, and work together with grantors and other funders that are committed to bridging the digital divide by promoting digital inclusion. The site provided the first comprehensive data based containing hundreds of U.S. digital inclusion and digital literacy nonprofits. It also served as a clearing house as dozens of nonprofits throughout the country and around the world sent emails each month, asking for information or programatic assistance.
The Net Literacy Alliance is the first part of the four-part approach to creating synergy within the Industry. To increase digital inclusion and digital literacy, Net Literacy:
i Created the Net Literacy Alliance;
ii Partnered with national trade associations with a shared mission, including the US Internet Industry Association, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, the Wireless ISP Association, Broadband for America, the Wireless Communications Association International, among others;
iii Partnered with socially-minded organizations that supported and advocated digital inclusion, including Intel, Bright House Networks, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, the “Computers For Youth” Network, among others; and
iv Innovated the Digital Literacy “best practices” site – where the digital literacy and digital inclusion good practices from around the country and around the world could be freely shared for all. Digital Literacy has been endorsed by Internet associations representing 250,000 Internet organizations on five continents.