Sometimes, a proclamation is worth 1000 words….
Net Literacy has been invited to showcase its successes of increasing computer access to over 150,000 individuals at a broadband adoption conference held by the US Internet Industry Association and Broadband for America on June 22nd at the Park Hyatt Washington in Washington DC. More about the conference is available at the USIIA website.
In May, 2009, the USIIA named Net Literacy as the preferred model for increasing digital inclusion in America. Two of Net Literacy Board members serve on Broadband for America’s Adoption Committee. The USIIA and Broadband for America asked Net Literacy to serve as a joint participant of the conference.
“Since 2003, Net Literacy’s student volunteers have increased broadband adoption and thousands of students have donated hundreds of thousands of hours of their time in the service to others,” said Student Chair Daniel Kent. “During a time when American corporations and our government should be identifying the most efficient and effective model to increase broadband adoption, Net Literacy spends thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to increase digital inclusion when other organizations spend millions of dollars or tens of millions of dollars. A community-based bottom-up public private partnership with student volunteers is a way that most efficiently increases broadband adoption on the community level.” Net Literacy has been recognized and received award from two American Presidents. US Senators Lugar and Bayh serve as Honorary Co-Chairs, and Congressmen, Lt. Governor Skillman, and Mayors also serve on its Honorary Board of Directors. Since 2005, Net Literacy has help provide or expanded over 500 computer labs throughout the Midwest.
This one day conference will discuss methods and case studies that increase broadband adoption in America and provide American tax payers and broadband providers an ROI. In its recent report to Congress, the Federal Communication’s Commission cited Net Literacy’s Community Connects and Senior Connects programs. The FCC also agreed with Net Literacy’s suggestion that a Digital Literacy Corps be created and that K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority for subsidized or free computer hardware and broadband in the plan.
Net Literacy’s programs are independently used by students from New York to California and around the world. The US Internet Industry Association submitted a Filing to the Federal Communication Commission 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. Other organizations and consortiums, including the US Broadband Coalition with 170 members that range from Google to Comcast and from Verizon to Cisco Systems cited Net Literacy and its model as a policy consideration in its “Adoption and Usage Report” for its programs in broadband adoption, helping the disabled, and improving the education process. The report was prepared for the Federal Communications Commission in behalf of America’s broadband industry to support the FCC’s National Broadband Plan Blueprint report to Congress. The Federal Communications Commission cited Net Literacy’s programs that teach senior citizens computer and Internet skills, teaching senior citizens, and our Digital Literacy Corps in the National Broadband Plan to Congress.
Net Literacy was invited to address 150 members of the North Dakota Association of Telecommunication Cooperatives’ annual meeting in December, 2010. The NDATC serves 158,000 customers and supports digital inclusion and digital literacy as a matter of good public policy, keeping rural America vital, and enriching the lives of thousands of North Dakota residents. Net Literacy makes its content available to all state associations that are members of the USIIA.
For additional information, contact [email protected]
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]
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!
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 Literacy’s seven summer programs impacted over 300 students. Student volunteers learned how to build websites; repurposed almost 1000 computers that were sent to schools and dozens of nonprofits; storyboarded, scripted, shot, and edited twenty financial literacy videos, taught Safe Connects Internet safety skills, learned group dynamics and team building skills; constructed business proposals using PowerPoint that included value propositions, P&L charts, and streaming video.
Thanks to our generous donors, that included Lilly Endowment, the Luminia Foundation for Education, Lilly & Company, Bright House Networks, the Techpoint Foundation, the Clowes Fund, Net Literacy student volunteers learned job skills, life skills, and made a difference to their communities.
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.
Based upon a forty page response to the Request for Comments issued by the FCC regarding broadband adoption that I wrote in behalf of the Net Literacy student board, the FCC contacted me in January and I spent almost an hour talking with several members of the FCC’s National Digital Broadband Plan task force. The three most important recommendations that Net Literacy made were that
– a national Digital Literacy Corps be created to increase digital inclusion and broadband adoption at the community level (www.digitalliteracycorps.org)
– K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority receiving resources and subsidized computer hardware and broadband
– Executive Order 12999 be strengthen to give schools a “right of first refusal” on surplused Federal computers to increase the use of technology in the classrooms during a period where funding for education is being reduced across the country
Net Literacy’s student volunteers were gratified that the FCC recommended the creation of a Digital Literacy Corps and that K-12 students on free or assisted lunch programs receive priority in the National Broadband Plan. Our response to the FCC included over 100 comments and recommendations, most of which were incorporated in the National Broadband Plan, because in part, the comment process was designed to validate FCC’s own assumptions through the use of public feedback to their proposals. Net Literacy was gratified to see that our new recommendation “that ENL population groups (English as a New Language) be recognized as a population group with low broadband adoption” was included in the Plan. Our request regarding Executive Order 12999 was not included, but I have met with Senators Lugar’s and Bayh’s to discuss how the inclusion of this in new legislation will impact student success and increase high school graduation rates.
The National Broadband Plan specifically cited our Senior Connects program that has increased computer access to over 40,000 Americans and our Community Connects program that has increased computer access to over 110,000 Americans in over 500 community centers, senior centers, preschools, faith-based organizations, schools, libraries, and other nonprofits.
No plan can be perfect in all aspects for every constituency when addressing a major challenge that America faces – but the FCC has done an outstanding job in reaching out to Americans to solicit feedback and comment; and thoughtfully created a road map that will ensure Americans receive the richness and benefits provided by broadband.
As a youth-founded all volunteer nonprofit whose outcomes cost about 10% as much as some other larger digital inclusion solution providers, we commend the FCC in providing a strong ROI on the taxpayer dollars invested in this project.
All Day “Roadmap to Broadband Adoption” Conference to be held in Washington DC on June 22nd
Broadband for America, Net Literacy and USIIA invite you to join in a special conference to help bring the rest of America online through programs to stimulate broadband adoption.
Aimed at broadband providers, community service agencies, municipal managers, consultants, educators and economic development leaders, this conference is a roadmap to use of federal stimulus grants to build effective and sustainable community programs for broadband adoption and use among the one-third of Americans not currently online. For more information, contact USIIA at [email protected] or click here.
If you have applied for or received a broadband stimulus grant or loan, this is a must-attend event for your company!
Monday, June 21st
4:00 pm Joint meeting of the USIIA Board of Directors
5:30 pm Open Reception (Attendees and Speakers)
7:00 pm USIIA Board of Directions Dinner Invitation Only
8:30 am Continental Breakfast
9:00 am Conference welcome by Dennis C. Hayes, Chairman, USIIA
9:05 am Introductory remarks by Harold Ford, Jr., Broadband For America Co-Chair
9:20am Introductory remarks by Don Kent, Net Literacy Chair
9:35am Keynote: A legislator’s view of the American Recovery and Re-Investment Act with respect to broadband adoption. What did Congress intend, and where do we go from here? Walter B. McCormick, Jr. (President & CEO of the US Telecom Association)
10:05 am Break
10:15 am “The Broadband Adoption Paradox” – An overview of the research indicating that broadband adoption rates remain a problem in the United States, and where efforts need to be made to correct this problem.
Panel Leader: John Horrigan, Consumer Research Director at the FCC (and formerly the Associate Director, Research, with the Pew Internet & American Life Project). Panelist: Rick Herrmann (Intel, Manager, US Public Sector Initiatives, State, Local, Education, and Advocacy) and Robert J Shapiro (Chairman of Sonecon).
11:00 am The Omnibus Broadband Initiative with Blair Levin. Now a Communications and Society Fellow at the Aspen Institute, Levin was formerly Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, and will share his insights into the nation’s broadband plans, policies and needs.
11:45 pm Lunch on your own
11:45 pm Speakers Luncheon – By Invitation Only
1:00 pm Conference welcome by Daniel Kent, Founder and Student President of Net Literacy
1:10 pm “Where Will We Get The Computers?” A panel discussion of how to create and implement an effective program for computer re-tasking and distribution.
Panel Leader: David McClure (USIIA President). Panelists: Don Kent (Net Literacy Chair) and Kerry Murray (Dell’s Senior Council for Global Public Policy).
1:40 pm “Outline for Community Adoption Programs” An outline of a sustainable broadband adoption program, necessary programs at the federal, state and local levels.
Panel Leader: Rick Jones (Cisco Systems, Director, Strategic Relations, US Public Sector). Panelists: Brian David (Federal Communications Commission Adoption and Use Director) and Mamie Bittner (Institute of Museum and Library Services Deputy Director)
2:30 pm Break
2:45 pm “Community-Based Adoption Models” A more specific discussion of the models for community programs, including where to conduct them, who should be targeted and how to manage the programs within various county/municipal/township organizations.
Panel Leader: Karen Archer Perry (Federal Communications Commission National Broadband Taskforce ). Panelist: Emy Tseng (National Telecommunications and Information Administration Program Officer, BTOP) and Elisabeth Stock (Computers For Youth President)
3:30 pm “A Student Empowered Digital Literacy Corps” A discussion of the Net Literacy model for development of a corps of high-school and college student volunteers to implement the community-based training programs.
Speaker: Daniel Kent (Net Literacy Founder and Student President)
4:00 pm “Promoting Broadband Adoption” A panel discussion of how to better market the value proposition for broadband within communities.
Panel Leader: Marva Johnson (Bright House Networks Networks Corporate Vice President Technology Policy & Industry Affairs). Panelist: Joe Savage (President, Fiber-to-the-Home Council), Laurie Lipper (Children’s Partnership Co-Founder and Co-President) and Narvarrow Wright (President of Maximum Solutions)
5:00 pm Reception
* Note: Conference agenda is subject to change.
** Accepted pending Agency approval