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Solutions. What the government is doing What the private sector is doing What private/government partnerships are doing. Many government agencies are working separately and jointly to bridge the divide. Their efforts include:

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slide1

Solutions

  • What the government is doing
  • What the private sector is doing
  • What private/government partnerships are doing
slide2

Many government agencies are working separately and jointly to bridge the divide. Their efforts include:

  • Donations: Making used and surplus equipment available for schools. See Computers for Learning.
  • Funding Community Access Centers: The National Science Foundation, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of Education, for example. See Community Technology Centers.
  • Problems:
  • Duplicate programs
  • Too much paperwork
  • Donated equipment does no good without tech support, staff development, school/community culture shift
slide3

“The equity question is far more complex than just a matter of hardware and funding, though. ‘Children in urban schools and children in suburban schools have a very different sense of self-efficacy when it comes to technology,’ says Louis M. Gomez, an associate professor of education and computer science at Northwestern University. ‘What I've come to understand of this problem is that it's about a culture in schools. There are urban schools that have access and still don't use the technology. It is because there is no culture of use.’”

From The Benton Foundation’s,“The Learning Connection”

slide4

Because of this, much focus is being placed on two key components that influence school/community culture:

  • Money for staff development
  • The development of community technology access centers
  • Mentoring initiatives to expose disadvantaged, minority, and female students to technology careers
slide5

From The President:

“No Child Left Behind”

President George W. Bush’s Education blueprint, “No Child Left Behind”, addresses the digital divide. It focuses on streamlining programs run by various agencies into one source of funding.

It proposes to…………,

slide6

Send More Dollars to Schools for Technology:

  • Consolidate technology grant programs
  • E-rate funds will be allocated by formula to states and school districts to ensure that more technology funds reach the classroom.
  • Funds will be targeted to high-need schools, including rural schools and schools serving high percentages of low-income students.
slide7

Reduce Paperwork and Increase Flexibility:

  • Burdensome paperwork requirements will be eliminated by sending E-rate funds to schools by a formula instead of the current application process.
  • Flexibility will be increased by allowing funds to be used for purposes that include software purchases and development, wiring and technology infrastructure, and teacher training in the use of technology.
slide8

Offer Matching Grants for Community Technology Centers:

  • Provide Matching federal grants through the Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Establish Community Technology Centers in high poverty areas.
slide10

U.S. Department of Education

  • Community Technology Centers
  • Promote the development of model programs that demonstrate the educational effectiveness of technology in urban and rural areas and economically distressed communities.
  • CTCs provide computer and internet access as well as educational services using information technology.
  • Most people who visit CTCs do not own computers and many do not have access at school or work
  • September 1999, awarded 40 three-year grants, funded the creation of more than 100 new community technology centers. Year 2000 projects created 288 new CTCs (Including Selma, Alabama and Oakland, California) and expanded services at an additional 166 existing centers
  • Similar programs funded by HUD and National Science Foundation (See the Community Technology Project )
slide11

Title I

  • Provides funds to schools with disadvantaged students
  • 1993-94 school year, schools where 80 percent or more of their students were eligible for Title I had one computer for every 26 students, while schools where just 20 percent of students were eligible for Title I had one computer for every 13 students*
  • 1995-96 school year, poorest schools reported one computer for every 13 students, and the wealthiest one for every 10 students*
  • *Source: Quality Education Data
slide12

Federal Communications Commission

  • http://www.fcc.gov/learnnet/
  • E-RATE, the Telecommunications Act of 1996.
  • First comprehensive revision of the USA's communications laws in more than 60 years.
  • The universal service section of this law, Section 254, helps schools and libraries obtain access to state of the art services and technologies at discounted rates.
  • Committed $3.65 billion to over 50,000 schools and libraries
  • 70% of the Year Two funding went to schools from the lowest income areas, and portions of those funds reached 70% of the schools under the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
slide13

The Department of Commerce

  • http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/fttn99/part3.html
  • Provides leadership to encourage Industry to come forward with significant assistance:
  • Companies are supporting the creation of community technology centers, helping connect schools through "Net Days," and donating computers and software to schools and neighborhood centers.
  • Is the sponsor of the NTIA:
  • National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) has funded pioneering Community Access Centers.
slide14

Computers for Learning

http://www.computers.fed.gov/School/user.asp

Transfers excess Federal computer equipment to schools, giving special consideration to those with the greatest need. The CFL website connects the registered needs of schools with available Government computer equipment. Federal agencies use the website to transfer computers based upon indications of need.

slide16

PBS National Outreach Plan

  • "Talking to Kids about Technology"
  • http://www.pbs.org/digitaldivide/learning.html
  • Encourages adults to share with young people the role technology plays in their professional and personal lives.
  • Partnerships with the National Urban League, Community Technology Centers Network (CTCnet) and Boys & Girls Clubs of America provide adults with a local community-based site where they can talk to young people, urging them to become technologically literate.
  • Provides materials for teachers and community leaders to use in influencing young people
slide17

National Foundation for the

Improvement of Education (NFIE)

http://www.nfie.org

  • Provides grants and technical assistance to teachers and educators to improve student learning in public schools.
  • Key program of NFIE is The Road Ahead, a $3 million project to support the use of technology in the classroom, funded by the profits of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates' book, The Road Ahead.
slide18

IBM's Reinventing Education initiative

  • http://www.ibm.com/reinventing/education.html
  • Promotes broad-based systemic change in public schools.
  • IBM gave $35 million for research, technical assistance, consultation, hardware, and software to create customized solutions.
  • CCT is evaluating how each solution will overcome a systemic barrier to high academic achievement, identified by each site.
slide19

The Digital Divide Network

  • of the Benton Foundation
  • http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org/content/sections/index.cfm
  • The Benton Foundation serves as producer and coordinator of the Digital Divide Network.
  • Coordinates strong industry partnerships
  • Provides leadership to nonprofits and government organizations wishing to bridge the digital divide.
  • Serves as a catalyst for developing new, innovative digital divide strategies and for making current initiatives more strategic, more partner-based and more outcome-oriented, with less duplication of effort and more learning from each others' activities.
slide20

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • http://www.glf.org/about/default.htm
  • $350 million commitment to support education improvements including technology
  • Support model schools and districts; provide professional development opportunities for educators; and help to eliminate financial barriers to higher education by providing scholarships
  • Commitment to bring computers with Internet access to every public library serving a low-income community in the United States and Canada. The Library Programwas their first large-scale, private philanthropic effort.
    • -Studies show students and low-income patrons use library computers most frequently and for the longest periods of time. Also, library computers are the only source of access for more than half of those who are unemployed but looking for work.
slide21

Plugged-In

  • http://www.pluggedin.org
  • Is a community technology center with a mission “to ensure that everyone in East Palo Alto California has the opportunity to fully benefit from all that the information revolution has to offer.”
  • Operate three programs: Plugged In Enterprises, Plugged In Greenhouse, and the Technology Access Center.
  • Enterprises trains teenagers in the latest web design technology. The teenagers operate a web design business that creates web pages for community members and paying commercial clients,including Pacific Bell, OICW, and Sun Microsystems.
  • Greenhouse is a creative arts and technology studio for East Palo Alto children. It includes an after-school program, classroom partnerships, and special projects based on educational themes.
  • Technology Access Center is the community production studio, copy center, cyber-library, self-paced learning studio, and telecom center. It provides community members with access to computers, the internet and information that helps them "get things done."
slide22

More

More private and government groups working to bridge the digital divide can be found at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology home page.

slide23

Bridging the digital divide requires:

  • Money
    • -For infrastructure (wiring, electrical power improvements, etc.)
    • -For staff development
    • -For technical support
    • -For curriculum development
    • -For equipment
  • Leadership
    • -To reduce paperwork
    • -To coordinate the efforts of the many interested parties
    • -To effect cultural change in disadvantaged communities
slide24

Bibliography

  • The Digital Divide, from PBS
  • http://www.pbs.org/digitaldivide/index.html
  • The eRate, a success story
  • http://www.fcc.gov/Speeches/Kennard/2000/spwek002.html
  • Falling Through the Net: The Digital Divide
  • http://www.digitaldivide.gov
  • No Child Left Behind
  • http://www.ed.gov/inits/nclb/partx.html
  • The Digital Divide Network
  • http://www.digitaldividenetwork.org/content/sections/index.cfm