Local Efforts to address the Digital Divide

Hello Integrating Technology Colleagues,

As you may know, the Digital Divide is not new and, over the last 25 years progress has been made in reducing it. However, the pandemic has revealed, as one adult basic skills colleague recently put it, that some communities are experiencing a "digital chasm." Chicago, for example, the third largest U.S. city and with the third largest school district, faces such a digital chasm.  A digital equity in education report there found that "1 in 5 children under the age of 18 lacked access to broadband services across the city, or more than 110,000 kids". These were primarily Black and Latinx/a/o neighborhoods that were experiencing 'startling gaps in internet connectivity.' Whereas predominantly white, more affluent neighborhoods, showed rates of connectivity near or above 90%, the report found an astounding lack of connectivity in poor and predominantly minority neighborhoods." Now, the City of Chicago is committed to addressing the home Internet connectivity issue through Its new multimillion dollar "Chicago Connected" initiative. Read about that here.

Is your community, whether rural or urban, also addressing broadband connectivity for adults and children who especially during the Pandemic need reliable broadband Internet access at home for education, health and employment purposes, and who also need home computers, and digital literacy skills?  If so, tell us about that here.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrated Technology group