Projects that address Digital Inclusion for your students and others

Hello Integrating Technology colleagues,

As you may know, I am no longer the moderator of this LINCS group, but I plan to continue as an active member.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the huge gap for some in adopting and using the Internet well -- what in the mid 1990's was coined the "digital divide" and, which most of us are aware, has not been eliminated yet. I have often been asked about what is being done to address this. Over a year ago I joined the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) in part to learn the answer to this question. I encourage you to go their website, and perhaps to join. It's free. You may have seen the discussion in this group with NDIA staff member, Sabrina Roach, Learn about the National Digital Inclusion Alliance Wednesday, January 27-Thursday, January 28 . That's also a good way to get a sense of what NDIA does.

Today, for example, on an NDIA listserv, was a link to this introduction to a very informative Institute for Local Self-Reliance article, "Report: Case Studies Detail How Tribes Are Expanding Internet Access" about what some native American groups have been doing to assure that their members are digitally included. It begins,

The rate of connectivity in Indian Country lags behind the rest of the country. As of December 2018, only 60% percent of Tribal lands in the lower 48 states had high-speed Internet access. A new case study report from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance delves into the experiences of four Native Nations — the Coeur d’Alene, the Nez Perce, the Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe, and the St. Regis Mohawk — as they constructed their own Internet service providers. 

The article introduction also suggests that "Each section of the report contains key takeaways that other tribes could use and learn from." and  urges readers to "Check out our tribal network resource page for a comprehensive list of tribally-owned broadband projects here."

I hope this will be the beginning of a discussion thread about what is happening locally, or in states, to address the digital divide. If you see articles that describe these efforts, or are involved in such an effort yourself, please add to this discussion by replying to this post.

David J. Rosen