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Communication Digital Citizenship Digital Divide Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy Internet skills UNCA

Toolsets for UNCA Students

WNC Broadband Project team member Marc Czarnecki made a presentation to the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) Mass Communication students on February 8th, 2022.

Toolset Topics for Broadband Advocacy in WNC

The topic: ‘Toolsets’ to help each UNCA student engage on the topic of ‘Internet in Society.’

  • Public Relations
  • Telehealth
  • Education
  • Digital Divide
  • Economic Development
  • Broadband Policies

If you or you know of an advocate for broadband in WNC, please contact Sonya DiPlama, Ph.D, APR, Associate Professor of Mass Communication at UNC Asheville at sidipalma@unca.edu.

Sonya is a member of the WNC Broadband Leadership Team.

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Broadband as a Utility Digital Inclusion NC BIO

State of NC Broadband Resources

Broadband has historically been classified as a private utility instead of a public utility and the NC BIO or Broadband Infrastructure Office and the Office of Digital Equity and Inclusion are both state resources to move forward with broadband in our Western North Carolina region.

Dr. William A. Sederburg tells us more about NC broadband resources.

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Communication Digital Communication Digital Inclusion Digital Information Guide for Digital Inclusion ICT - Information & Communication Technology Information

Information Communication Technology

The internet has changed how we work, communicate, learn, and live.

Digital Information

Additionally, we live in a digitally inequitable world.

Digital Communication

How can you or your group steward digital inclusion and information-communication technology (ICT) in Western North Carolina while higher speed internet connections become available?

Navigate Digital Inclusion

The WNC Broadband Project Leadership Team is eager to hear from WNC individuals, groups, and communities. Contact us today.

Technology Navigation

Let’s make WNC more digitally inclusive!

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

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Basics Digital Inclusion Education Internet skills

Digital Inclusivity in Using the Internet

Once users have the ability to use the internet with available WiFi, computer devices, and knowledge of how to use the internet; why is the internet so important for individuals and communities?  

Benefits of Using the Internet

The internet is a necessary communication tool for entities collaborate.  Email, text, video chat are the foundations of internet use.  Businesses, our government, communities, and families benefit from using the internet with:

  • Connectivity
  • Information, knowledge sharing, and learning
  • Address, mapping, phone, web and contact information
  • Sharing web resources like cloud photography, text files, web links
  • Selling and making money
  • Banking, bills, and shopping
  • Donations and funding
  • Entertainment
  • Work from home, collaboration, and access to a global workforce

Understanding how to use a web browser is important because we need to effectively search for information.  Google Chrome web browser, as an a example facilitates an ‘omnibox’ to:

  • Enter a web address or URL 
  • Search for keywords or phrases
  • Bookmark webpages for ease of future reference

Digital Literacy/Skills

What programs and organizations currently provide the following in your community/region?

Digital skills or digital literacy

  • Workshops
  • Courses
  • One-on-one sessions

Digital Literacy Location Stewards

  • Library hotspots and digital navigators
  • Workforce development training –
    • Career centers 
    • Job search training including resume writing on a text editor
    • Readiness Resource Labs
  • STEM/STEAM training, coding schools, IT certifications, or training
    • Microsoft
    • Google
    • CompTIA
  • Technical or computer certifications
    • LinkedIn Learning
    • Udemy 
    • GCF Global 
  • ACT Work Keys, testing, reading maintenance of 
    • Workplace documents
    • Graphics

Please contact a member of the WNC Broadband Project Team to learn more about ‘how to engage your group or community to learn more about the internet.’


“What Are the Advantages of the Internet – Javatpoint.” 2020. Www.javatpoint.com. 2020. https://www.javatpoint.com/what-are-the-advantages-of-the-internet.

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

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Digital Inclusion Education Internet skills

User Ability to Use the Internet

Continuing this week’s series on digital inclusion of individuals, groups, and access; here is a  look at the needed skills and ability to “effectively use the internet” or digital literacy.

At the foundation, a users digital ability is the skill or knowledge needed to communicate with email and search the web.

For many, lifelong learning may have exposed digital literacy from a start in pre-school, elementary, middle, or high school.  But what happens with those that did not have the privilege to learn about computers and the internet? Where does a digitally-illiterate individual go for help?

Because community colleges, libraries, career centers, and community centers are locations that provide internet access; digital navigators maybe also available to assist with using the internet.

Necessary skills to for internet use should include a basic understanding of:

  • About the internet and how to connect to it with a smartphone or mobile device
  • Email communication, suggested Gmail
  • Web browsing, suggested to use the Google Chrome web browser

Engage your community or group to become more digitally inclusive.

For assistance, contact a member of the WNC Broadband Team today.

We want to help your community or group navigate digital inclusion.

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

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Access Points Broadband access Digital Inclusion Free WiFi Guide for Digital Inclusion Lot Map for Wi-Fi Low-income Access

Digital Inclusion – Access

Digital inclusion of individuals and groups includes an awareness of internet access points and this week is recognized as digital inclusion week.

Because a portion of the individuals in our communities can not afford home broadband or computer devices, a community digital equity assessment is advisable to determine access points for desktop or laptop computers, tablets/smartphones.

Likely, current community access points include locations like:

  • Inside libraries or library parking lots
  • Parks
  • School parking lots
  • Restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores
  • Churches or places of worship
  • Career centers

These locations may also have digital navigators that can assist with internet access.  As an example, Buncombe Public Libraries provide assistance in connecting to their building Wi-Fi access point and provide printer services.

Making internet access part of your community’s digital inclusion plans includes creating goals for groups to address each aspect of the digital divide: broadband access, broadband affordability, computer devices, and digital literacy.  

Thanks to the Land-of-Sky Regional Council of Governments, Wi-Fi Lot Maps are available.

The WNC Broadband Project Team is here to help you.  Contact the leadership team today or mention your digital inclusion thoughts to a member of our advisory board.

The WiFi symbol, represented above is a stair-step icon, signifying available wireless internet connections.

More About Broadband Access 

https://wncbroadband.org/blog/blog/category/broadband-access/

Reference

NC Broadband Infrastructure Office Digital Inclusion Planning Guide

https://www.ncbroadband.gov/assistance/digital-inclusion-template-guide

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

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Community Development Digital Inclusion Economic Development Planning

Groups & Digital Inclusion

How do community groups contribute towards improving digital inclusion? Can community groups advocate for broadband to improve education, tele-health, economic development, and individual well-being?

Your Group & Broadband

As we get older we develop and engage with more communities and groups. The pandemic has created new opportunities for these groups to safely and conveniently connect via video conference and become lifelong learners; however, those individuals that do not have broadband maybe excluded.

“Digital equity” is achieved when individuals have digital literacy skills, access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet service, a device to access and fully use the internet, and the ability to fully participate in society, democracy and the economy.

NC Broadband Infrastructure Office

Internet Connectivity

How do individuals connect to online groups and communities? Using computer devices and the internet, individuals in a group connect:

  • If an individual has a computer device and can afford broadband, most will choose connect from home.
  • Work can be another internet connectivity opportunity for some.
  • Libraries have enabled public Wi-Fi and computers for use for some hours of the week.
  • Coffee shops and restaurants sometimes provide public Wi-Fi; but not alway the needed electricity to keep a computer operational for longer group conferences.

To help move the needle towards more broadband availability and connectivity, the North Carolina Broadband Office has a template and guide for digital inclusion to reduce the digital divide and prioritize digital equity for residents. Engage your community or group to utilize this digital inclusion template

Western North Carolina Broadband Project

The Western North Carolina Broadband Project is your community to advocate for high-speed internet for all. Why?

WNCBP aims to level the availability, understanding, and affordability of internet communication technologies.

Please consider stepping-up to the plate to engage your community or group to become more digitally inclusive. For assistance, contact a member of the WNC Broadband Team today. We want to help your community or group navigate digital inclusion.

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

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Advocacy Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion Education Local Government Workforce

Digital Inclusion Individuals

During the Digital Inclusion week from October 4th through October 8th, the Western North Carolina Broadband Project Team aims to help you navigate the topic of digital inclusion. At the heart of digital inclusion are the community individuals that steward broadband for our future.

Who are the individual WNC Broadband Project liaisons?

WNC Broadband Project Team

Incepted in 2017, the Western North Carolina Project began to support communities interested in ensuring access to reliable, truly high-speed internet service. The team empowers individuals, communities, and area leaders in advocating effectively for their digital needs.

The WNC Broadband Project was created to augment what WestNGN has done to promote broadband among governmental units. Involving many of the same people, the WNC Broadband Project aims to provide information, support neighborhoods interested in ensuring access to high-speed internet service and advocate for an inclusive broadband strategy.

The WNC Broadband Project intends to develop tools to empower individuals, communities, and area leaders to achieve area coverage and inclusiveness.

William Sederburg, Chair of the WNC Broadband Project

Leading the WNC Broadband Project is Dr. William Sederburg. His vision includes the “WNC Broadband Future is Not Just a Rural Problem.”

Dr. William Sederburg, Retired College President, Chair of WNCBP

WNC Broadband Project Advisory Board

Advisory council members are serving as involved citizens, not as representatives of their organizations.

WNC Broadband Users

Broadband individual users include:

  • Students and teachers
  • Business and workforce users
  • Healthcare individuals

Digital inclusion aims to level the availability, understanding, and affordability of internet communication technologies.

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

Categories
Broadband in WNC Digital Inclusion Digital Literacy Education Infrastructure

Navigate Digital Inclusion

With October 4th through 8th being ‘National Digital Inclusion Week,’ here is a breakdown of the elements with digital inclusion being the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies:

Individuals

A single human being as distinct from a group, class, or family is the primary element to consider for digital inclusion.

Groups

With a number of people that are located close together or are considered or classed together, we have groups. In Western North Carolina we have many groups of culture, interest, communities, and goals.

Access

Access is a means of approaching or entering a place; in this case, the internet. For broadband, this requires an internet service provided or ISP, a router, and a Wi-Fi modem.

Ability

Does every WNC individual have possession of the means or skill to do something on the internet? A smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet?

Use

Use is the action of using something or the state of being used for a purpose. How do individuals safely use the internet while protecting their privacy and security?

Information

Information of facts that are provided or learned about
something or someone through the internet. Most of use think of internet search or a ‘Google search.’

Communication

Communication is the imparting or exchanging of information or news. What is credible and what is credible on the internet?

Technologies

Technologies are the application of knowledge to the practical aims of human life. With broadband or high-speed internet being the arteries of content from servers and publishers; individuals need to understand the options for internet. What are the features and benefits of each?

Western North Carolina Broadband Project

The WNC Broadband Project Team are individuals that have grouped together to advocate for future-proof investments in broadband.

Are you and your communities ready for the future of high-speed internet?

#digitalequity #DIW2021 #digitalequityNOW

Categories
Community Development Digital Inclusion FCC

Digital Inclusion Week

October 4 – 8, 2021

What is Digital Inclusion?

“Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals and groups to access and use information and communication technologies.”

https://www.webjunction.org/explore-topics/digital-inclusion.html

Join FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, and the Western North Carolina Broadband Project in recognizing National Digital Inclusion Week from Monday October 4th through Friday, October 8th.

Digital Inclusion Week is a week of events aimed at bringing attention to digital inclusion work, convened largely by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.

Do you have a digital equity story to share? Please email marc@wncbroadband.org.


Quaintance Z. What’s New in Civic Tech: National Day of Civic Hacking and 911. GovTech. Published September 23, 2021. Accessed September 30, 2021. https://www.govtech.com/civic/whats-new-in-civic-tech-national-day-of-civic-hacking-and-911