Today the Minnesota Library Association (MLA) is in sync with the federal universe. The Federal Communications Commission Chair held a live meeting today to promote a new initative on digital literacy, broadband and workforce support. To see the library-related quotes, see today’s Librarian by Day blog entry.
Today there is an MLA Program on digital literacy and efforts to bridge the digital divide in MInnesota. We are in sync with the universe!
Here are some of the handouts and presentation for “Minding the Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide in Minnesota.”
Minding the Gap: Bridging the Digital Divide in Minnesota (Prezi Presentation)
Public Libraries & Digital Literacy (Information Policy & Access Center, University of Maryland) (4-page Issue Brief)
Maps of Minnesota’s 360 Public Library Locations (Minnesota Department of Education)
Digital Inclusion Efforts in Minnesota (Mary Ann Van Cura, Minnesota State Library Services) (9-page annotated bibliography of organizations and efforts)
Digitalliteracy.gov – new, federal curriculum repository
Library staff and their patrons may hear about a new program from Comcast, called Internet Essentials, offering low-cost Internet access.
Here are some basic points for your reference:
• Comcast is offering home Internet access for $9.95/month, and offering a computer for $149+tax, to qualifying families.
• The offer is solely for families in which at least one child qualifies for the free school lunch program, meaning the yearly income on a household of three would have to fall under $25,000.
• Comcast service must be available in the area.
• Those who’ve subscribed to Comcast within the last 90 days and those with an overdue bill or unreturned equipment don’t qualify.
• Participants also receive access to free digital literacy training in print, online or in-person. (The availability of in-person training will vary. In St. Paul, however, Neighborhood House will be an official Comcast partner for in-person training.)
• The advertized connection speeds are: download speeds of up to 1.5 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 384 Kbps.
• Handouts, flyers and details for community partners who want to spread the word are available at the program’s Partner Portal. BTW – the handouts are great, but you do have to create an account and login in order to see them.
• Comcast developed this program in exchange for government approval of its merger with NBCUniversal earlier this year.
• This is a step toward bridging the digital divide. It is a program with a limited scope , and those who do not qualify will wish the scope were broader. Those who qualify may have access to home Internet service, hardware, and training. The number of qualifying families that would sign up for the program is not yet known.
Three recent news stories about the program:
*Comcast’s Internet Essentials offers low-cost Internet to struggling families (Digital Trends, 8/5/2011)
*Comcast Offers A Digital Lifeline To The Disconnected (National Public Radio, 9/12/2011)
*Comcast launches low-cost Internet (Pioneer Press, 9/12/2011)
Two contract consultants are needed to assist with development of an online assessment tool — the next step toward implementation of the North Star Digital Literacy Standards.
Job description and details are provided in the RFP. Please email application, including relevant skills and experience to Tom Cytron-Hysom, thysom at real-time.com, by July 6, 2011.