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Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Event

WNC Digital Inclusion Planning Summit

When: January 13th from 10:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Learn about what’s going on in your county, state, country, and how you can be a part of a more digitally equitable North Carolina.

We will start the planning at this event, so share with all your interested partners in digital equity.

Contact Sara Nichols at sara@landofsky.org for more information.

Digital Inclusion Event Registration

This project is made possible by the generous support of BAND-NC Institute for Emerging Issues.

BAND-NC, Building a New Digital Economy in North Carolina

Also See

Digital Inclusion DANCE
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Asheville Asheville City Schools Broadband in WNC Buncombe Digital Equity Economic Development Education Henderson Madison Speed Test Transylvania

Connect K-12

Classrooms no longer have chalk boards. Children do have technology everywhere. Technology requires bandwidth. Digital tools are important for tech-infused educational growth. Adequate high-speed internet is needed for our schools future.

The homework gap is personified when there is digital inequality.

Broadband Speeds / Student

To enable digital learning in every classroom every day, the FCC recommends 1Mbps per student.

How do our bigger K-12 compare?

Connect K-12 has some current, free data for review:

Connected Nations Podcast

Learn more about digital equity for our WNC children.

Listen to this Connected Nations podcast.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/connected-nations-podcast/id1508008735#episodeGuid=Buzzsprout-6692588

Advocate for Broadband

The Western North Carolina is advocating for broadband for all residents.

Digital inclusion is critical to our economic future!

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Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy Education

Digital Literacy

Computers & K-12 Students

The American Library Association (ALA) defines digital literacy as:

the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills

American Library Association

The heartbeat of digital literacy is broadband applied in classrooms on different computer hardware tools including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices, and desktop computers.

This classroom environment prepares young adults to become a digital citizen or individual who applies the internet to participate responsibly in social and civic activities.

Examples of Digital Citizenship

  • Using a computer, mouse or trackpad, audio, etc.
  • Avoiding harassment
  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical use of content

At the Western North Carolina Broadband Project, we advocate for digital inclusion and equity of broadband for all.

Share your digital citizenship stories by emailing digcit@wncbroadband.org.

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Broadband access Broadband funding Broadband in WNC Broadband Technology Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Economic Development Education Policy Telehealth YouTube

Broadband, Biden

Broadband Breakfast Live

The election is behind us. What does the future of broadband have in the future with the Biden Administration?

Listen to the discussion on broadband and the FCC policy future:

  • Drew Clark – Telecom Attorney, The CommLaw Group; Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast, Washington DC-Baltimore Area
  • Scott Wallsten – President and Senior Fellow at Technology Policy Institute, Washington, District of Columbia
  • Mark Jamison, Ph.D. – Research & Education Director, Gainesville, Florida
Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Wednesday, November 11: Broadband and the Joe Biden President-Elect Administration
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Asheville Broadband access Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Education Relevancy

Digital Equity

What comes to mind Philip?

Digital equity is ensuring students have equal access to technology and that students and their support network receive the training necessary to use the technology toolsets.

Philip provides a shout-out to CiCi Weston, Executive Director of the Christine W Avery Learning Center – http://cwalearningcenter.com/ for their support of inner-city youth, fatherless homes. They went above and beyond to get hotspots for children that needed the internet connectivity.

Also, Philip mentions the Francine Delany school where Chromebooks and additional WiFi Hotspots were provided to do homework.

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Asheville Asheville Housing Authority Broadband access Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Housing Authority

No Cost Internet Access

WNC Broadband Project applauds Asheville City Schools partnering with the Asheville City Schools Foundation, Buncombe County Government, the City of Asheville and the Asheville Housing Authority to works towards bridging the digital gap.

By the end of this year the following family development residents will have internet access at no cost:

  • Southside Community
  • Deaverview Apartments
  • Hillcrest Apartments
  • Klondyke Homes
  • Pisgah View Apartments

According the Asheville Citizens Times Skyrunner, an Asheville-based wireless and fiber broadband internet company, offered the winning bid of $520,000. Skyrunner’s proposal also includes four years of ongoing services charges. Buncombe County has pledged $100,000 in Coronavirus Relief Money, while Asheville has pledged $50,000.

Minimizing the digital divide and providing digital equity are attributes that will provide for a healthier and more economic-vibrant future in Western North Carolina.

More at the Asheville Citizen Times:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/2020/11/02/housing-authoritys-five-family-developments-get-free-internet/3742985001/

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Asheville Asheville City Schools Digital Equity Digital Inclusion Education

Excellence with Equity

the PODS Project is Working

The need for better broadband is clear. On the Asheville City Schools homepage, the tagline is ‘Excellence with Equity.’ The Asheville Citizen Times article linked below references that kids can not function without broadband in our current COVID environment.

Positive Opportunities Develop Success, or PODS are locations throughout our Asheville City School communities that provide broadband-available and socially distanced desks for students to connect to the internet and perform school work.

Because of PODS, the pandemic, in a strange twist, has actually become a boon to Asheville’s Black and brown students, Wynn said and other organizers say.

While there are not yet numbers to quantify it, the students appear to not only be surpassing their performance during the early part of the pandemic, but during times when they were in the regular classroom, they said.

“We’ve seen some dynamic change in our students, attitudes and confidence, and we just no longer want our Black and brown students to make up this opportunity gap,” Wynn said.

Asheville Citizen Times – Joel Burgess, on the behalf of Kidada Wynn – City Schools Student Support Services Executive DIrector

What about our future for students? Broadband or high-speed internet is necessary for digital inclusion and equity. Our community needs stewards of broadband and the Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team is here to help with the associated strategies including:

  • Federal, State, Regional, and Local Broadband Priorities
  • Funding & Foundation Leadership
  • Policy Recommendations
  • Education & Healthcare

We can make a digital WNC that is inclusive.

Please consider supporting the WNC Broadband Project objectives. Our 2021 Policy Priorities will be released soon.

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2020/10/20/pods-pandemics-virtual-learning-students-get-much-needed-help/3711013001/

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Broadband in WNC Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Myths Around Digital Equity

Please take this quick survey about digital equity and technology.

Digital Equity

Digital equity refers to whether people can access and effectively use the technology necessary to participate in modern society.

Another phrase, “digital inclusion,” denotes efforts to remedy deficits in digital equity.

Digital equity has 3 major myths:

  1. Everyone has internet access.
  2. Everyone has a computer.
  3. Everyone knows how use a computer and the internet.

Learn More

https://www.techgoeshome.org/digital-equity

https://www.govtech.com/civic/The-Quest-for-Digital-Equity.html

Categories
Asheville Community Development Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Virtual and Broadband

Today many tools are available hold ‘virtual events.’ Google Meet, Zoom, WebEx and others provide software for anybody to broadcast their virtual event.

The Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s WNC Career Expo – Virtual Job Fair was held Wednesday, October 14th through Friday, October 16th with dozens of employers and hundreds of job seekers. The virtual ‘Main Floor’ job fair was divided into employers with job opportunities and ‘Employment and Training’ representation; including Asheville 50+ Works. With this virtual online-event, those that have high-speed internet or broadband; job seeking is enabled virtually.

Businesses, individuals, and community groups can post broadband-heavy content including:

  • Company Profile
  • Videos
  • Downloads
  • Links
  • Social networks
  • Banners
  • Posters
  • Webcasts
Easy Virtual Fair screenshot
Easy Virtual Fair – Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s virtual job fair software

As part of Asheville 50+ Works (the Experienced Workforce Initative of WNC) hosted a couple of virtual webcasts, including a ‘Google Tools for Job Search Productivity – the more you know Google, the better you get.’

Video recording of Marc’s virtual webcast held during the WNC Career Expo.

Businesses, communities, educational institutions, non-profits, individuals, entrepreneurs, and more depend on the internet to have an online presence. Broadband is the high speed internet framework.

Content needs to be deployed and consumed. Both require growing appetites for broadband; especially has 4K+ video resolution becomes more prevalent .

Is WNC ready for the growing economic need for broadband?

Advocate for fiber, a timeless investment for our future. Fiber optics are the foundation for our terrestrial and wireless WNC future.

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Affordability Broadband in WNC Community Development Digital Divide Digital Equity Digital Inclusion

Digital Alliance for our Nation

Angela Siefer, Executive Director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) speaks for our nation on digital opportunities. Her message provided to congress earlier this year:

  • Residential internet service in the US is expensive.
  • Analytic reporting of the cost of service throughout the nation are not available. We need the FCC to gather this data and make it publicly available.
  • In the US digital training is undervalued and underfunded.
    • 1/3 of manufacturing workers lack proficient digital skills
    • 1/2 of all construction, transportation, and storage workers lack proficient digital skills
    • No dedicated funding is available towards digital training in the US

Local governments, libraries, non-profits have been left to piece-together to needed recourses to address the basic digital skills training. Piecing together is the wrong strategy for a strong workforce.

Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance

Digital Stewardship

Our Western North Carolina communities need to continue to provide and grow:

  • Guidance to low income parents on how to connect to their children’s teachers.
  • Leadership for seniors on how to use electronic communication and telehealth.
  • Help Veterans and disadvantaged individuals with digital skills for employment.
  • Support the State of North Carolina in developing digital equity.

Digital Equity

Digital equity refers to whether people can access and effectively use the technology necessary to participate in modern society. Digital equity planning is the opportunity for the rural areas of North Carolina as Representative Jake Johnson discusses.

Support the WNC Broadband Project’s goals to advocate, educate, and engage our communities in the needed awareness of these digital opportunities.

Also See

Reverend Louis Grant talk about digital inclusion in WNC.

Kenneth Merritt discuss digital inclusion in Asheville.