Digital Inclusion News
Thanks to the 3,211 residents for their participation, the second year's results are in on a survey the City of Minneapolis conducted to understand how Minneapolis residents use computers, mobile devices and the Internet to better their daily lives.
More mobile access is the biggest change between 2012 and 2013: While ownership of Internet-enabled computers varied greatly across the City, ownership of Internet-enabled mobile phones is higher in 2013 – even among those households least likely to own a computer.
Age, income and race are still key factors in resident’s access and use of technology. Residents age 65 and older and those with household income less than $25,000 are least likely to use computers and the Internet. Sixty-five percent of Black/African American respondents have a computer with Internet at home, compared to 90% of whites. We also see that 40% of unemployed respondents looking for work don’t have a computer with Internet at home, and overall, 16% of households with children don't have a computer with Internet at home. Among the respondents with children in their household who reported their race on the survey, whites are far more likely to have access at home (95%) compared to people of color (73%).
The entire report is on the City’s website. An interactive map is also available to compare neighborhood data to city-wide data.
It's sometimes easy to forget, but the digital divide shows up everywhere, downtown, in the suburbs, and even farther out. As reported on by the St. Peter Herald, the St. Peter school district is taking steps to combat the problem. This fall, incoming 9th graders will receive something unusual along with their textbooks: an ipad mini. The goal of the program is to transition towards higher expectations regarding the use of technology for everyday school work. School officials recognize that regular use of such tools in college and the workplace is becoming the norm, and that starting students earlier on them will give students a leg up. For the whole story, click here
In a story published on Monday, March 25th, Juanita Espinosa digs to the heart of what it means to be on the "wrong side of the digital divide" as she demonstrates the whirlwind of cumulative effects that descend upon someone with limited access to technology today.
Lisa, the woman in the story, can't sustain an effective job search on the limited time offered at the Franklin Library. Expectation regarding online communication outpaces people's access to it on a regular basis, and in a world that demands we always be signed on, traditional approaches such as library computer labs can help, but they're not enough. And the effects of limited access are insidious, as the story shows. Not only can Lisa not conduct a successful job search, but neither can she facilitate her daughter's education when schools too expect parents to be online.
Espinosa reveals that without a change a dangerous downward spiral might form for Lisa, and such stories are not the exception as issues of the digital divide only continue to grow. Read the full story here.
Two opportunities to hang out with other people who care about communities, digital literacy, and digital inclusion - some from nonprofit tech community, some not; some national, some local!
RSVPs are requested, but conference registration is not required for these events! Free and open to all!
Building Bridges that Span the Digital Divide
NTEN CommTech Gathering
Thursday, April 11, 2013, 4-6pm (Central Time)
Hilton Minneapolis, The Gallery [1st Floor]
1001 Marquette Ave S, www.hilton.com/Minneapolis
Tens of thousands of nonprofit and library professionals work each day to bridge the digital divide, but where are the bridges between the professionals? We’re all so busy that it can be a challenge to step back and see what other people are doing that may be beneficial to our efforts to bring technology training and access to our communities. Join us during NTC where computer trainers, library staff, volunteers and program managers will share successes and challenges related to their work with digital inclusion, BTOP, and digital literacy training. Hear about national efforts to develop a resource portal that will help us all improve our programs.
By special arrangement with NTEN, this program event is free and open to locals and anyone interested, even if you're not attending the NTEN conference!
RSVP requested for planning purposes, not required. Walk-ins welcome.
On March 21st, Connect2Compete (C2C), http://connect2compete.org, launched a 3-year national public service campaign to promote digital literacy called EveryoneOn, http://everyonone.org. The key message is to encourage limited or non-Internet users, to learn how to do “one thing better online”. Community technology providers, like libraries and computers centers and community-based organizations, are key to the success of this effort because of demonstrated commitment to providing free access to the Internet as well as to improving people’s skills (e.g. using a mouse, applying for jobs online, creating email accounts, and so much more).
March 21 marked the launch of the beta site for DigitalLearn.org. This Institute of Museum and Library Services grant funded project, managed by the Public Library Association, is intended to create an online hub for digital literacy support and training.
The site will have self-directed tutorials and a community of practice for those at libraries and community organizations who are working to bridge the digital divide. Learn more about the project on our about page.
Thanks to Mary Ann Van Cura of the State Library Services, Minnesota Department of Education for sharing!
Community organizations and the City of Minneapolis have scheduled open houses March 21 for new computer users, community members and businesses to get connected with local community technology resources.
- Free Geek Twin Cities 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Project for Pride in Living Learning Center 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Inc. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
- Pillsbury United Communities / Oak Park Neighborhood Center Noon – 3 p.m.
- Pillsbury United Communities / Waite House Neighborhood Center 11:45 a.m.– 1:30 p.m.
- Takoda Institute 1—3 p.m.
- University of Minnesota – UROC 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Check out the City of Minneapolis website for more information.
This week MPR is featuring special segments on issues relating to technology. The first entry of the week, "How the digital world is affecting our kids" reminds of the need for thoughtful discussion on the significance of technology in our lives. Visit MPR's page here to listen in on the discussion, and keep an eye out for further segments throughout the week.
A new report by the Pew Research Center, “Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption,” has found that Latino rates of using the internet, owning a cellphone or smartphone, mobile internet use, and social networking site use is similar or higher than that of the general population. The three factors that seem to have the most impact on use of technology are age, education and income.
To read “Closing the Digital Divide: Latinos and Technology Adoption":
The Holland High Rise in Northeast Minneapolis will soon provide wifi access in the community room for its residents and the community thanks to a new partnership. The Logan Park Neighborhood Association (LPNA) learned of residents' lack of internet access and met with the City of Minneapolis and Volunteers of America to figure out what they could do. The City of Minneapolis approved the nonprofit's application for free public wifi computer access, the LPNA is committed to buying 6-8 laptops and the Takoda Institute will provide a volunteer tutor. It's taken time and effort but the Holland High Rise residents hope to have the internet access in April and start the trainings in June.
Thanks to Elise Ebhardt for sharing this story!
Read the article:
Learn more about the City of Minneapolis Free Community Wifi Accounts: