Educational CyberPlayGround ®

DIGITAL EQUITY and gender equity


The LibraryBox Project LibraryBox is a digital distribution tool for education, libraries, healthcare, and emergency response. Anywhere there is a lack of open internet access, LibraryBox can bridge the gap of information delivery. LibraryBox is a fork of PirateBox for the TP-Link MR 3020, customized for educational, library, and other needs. LibraryBox v2.0 Release

PirateBox 1.0 has been released and building or upgrading a PirateBox has never been easier! Please refer to this tutorial for instructions and more info. For support, be sure to visit the new PirateBox Forum.

Definition of Digital Equity
Digital equity is achieved when all students have quick, easy, and appropriately functional access to equipment and the Internet both in and out of school, as well as the expert guidance required to ensure effective use across a range of functions.

What does digital equity really mean?
Access to technology must mean more than just computers and connections:
12 Real Access criteria The Real Access criteria are:
(1) Physical access to technology
(2) Appropriateness of technology
(3) Affordability of technology and technology use
(4) Human capacity and training
(5) Locally relevant content, applications, and services
(6) Integration into daily routines
(7) Socio-cultural factors
(8) Trust in technology
(9) Local economic environment
(10) Macro-economic environment
(11) Legal and regulatory framework
(12) Political will and public support

Women Gender Equity

FastCompany has compiled lists of the most influential women in technology for 2009, 2010, and 2011. The list for 2011 contains 30 women in six categories.

9 UNIVERSITY PRESIDENTS ISSUE STATEMENT ON GENDER EQUITY Leaders of top research institutions declare that "barriers still exist to the full participation of women." IT skills produce a different kind of empowerment for minority women. IT can improve minority women's lives by giving them the skill set to organize to get a bus stop in their neighborhood, discover how to take a bad landlord to court or learn how to file for child support. "IT skills can be taken beyond the workplace to transform and shape inner-city communities," Kvasny said. "Technology can build people's capacity to learn and to discover their communities' assets."

A greater goal is the value of diversity in the engineering field, an argument many sexists, and others, may not have ever thought through. Here is the diversity argument in a nutshell Excerpted from Wm. A. Wulf, "Diversity in Engineering," The Bridge, Vol. 28, No. 4, Winter 1998,
"A lot of people argue for diversity in terms of fairness. We Americans are very sensitive to issues of fairness, but that's not my argument. Others argue in terms of simple numerics: Male Caucasians will be the minority in the 21st century, and so to meet the need for engineers we will have to attract women and underrepresented minorities. That's true too, but that's not my argument, either.
"I believe there is a far deeper reason why we require a diverse work force. Let me give you the argument in a nutshell, and then I'll try to draw it out more carefully.

  1. First, engineering is a very creative profession. That is not the way it is usually described, but down to my toes I believe that engineering is profoundly creative.
  2. Second, as in any creative profession, what comes out is a function of
    the life experiences of the people who do it.
  3. Finally, sans diversity, we limit the set of life experiences that are applied, and as a result, we pay an opportunity cost - a cost in products not built, in designs not considered, in constraints not understood, in processes not invented …

There is a real economic cost to that. Unfortunately, it is an opportunity cost. It is measured in design options not considered, in needs unsatisfied and hence unfulfilled. It is measured in "might have beens," and those kinds of costs are very hard to measure. That doesn't change the fact that they are very real and very important.
Every time we approach an engineering problem with a pale, male design team, we may not find the best solution. We may not understand the design options or know how to evaluate the constraints. We may not even understand the full dimension of the problem."


Changing Girls' Attitudes About Computers

The powerful social and economic change brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.




Public Improvement Film Look Listen and take Heed. Harry Enfield - Women, Don't Drive


Bibliography on Gender and Technology in Education by Jo Sanders is available in both PDF and EndNote formats. Focusing primarily on information technology, the bibliography is comprehensive as of 2005 and draws on international research as well as intervention literature. It contains nearly 700 entries and is extensively annotated, key-worded, and searchable. Sanders, a well-known gender equity specialist, compiled the bibliography for her 2005 review article, "Gender and Technology: A Research Review."

U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau Quick Facts on Older Workers ages 55 and over 2006

Women Narrow the Internet Gender Gap, Survey Finds Dec 29, 2005

Women-Related Web Sites in Science/Technology

Gender Equity Resources
General Education; Math, Science, and Technology; Gender Equity, General; Gender Equity in Math & Science; Gender Equity in Technology; and Race, Ethnicity, and Socioeconomic Status and DIGITAL DEVIDE RESOURCES

FREE TOOLS TO BUILD WEBSITES - Read about online book-sharing community for the disabled.
Literacy and Dialect Speakers
Integrate Literacy, Music and Technology



Education Reform Dr. Robert T. McLaughlin, executive director of the National Institute for Community Innovations, at or (802) 229-1742. See Digital Divide Resources

The Association of Career and Technical Education
The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity
The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium
Technical and Vocational Schools
U.S. Department of Education report to Congress showed that enrollment in technical education has soared by 57 percent, to 15.1 million in 2004 from 9.6 million in 1999. [Not Your Grandfather's Trade School]

Are your kids too fat? <> See Healthier

No Sweat Shops - SweatX

Democracies Online


Confusion Reigns Over Accessibility Compliance

Dr. Betty A. Rosa launched HomeBase8T 1999

Dead Ed Dots Need To Be Buried With Dignity
Education Professional Responsibility vs. Ending up as Porn Sites

What resources are available to build digital equity?

Microsoft Proposal to the class-action lawsuit.

USDOJ publishes MS settlement comments

Community Technology Centers




The National Science Foundation supported CTCNet contains a network of more than 250 community technology centers where people get access to computers and computer-related technology, such as the Internet. Find out about a Community Technology Project near you.

Neighborhood Network Centers is a community-based initiative of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that encourages the development of resource and computer learning centers in privately owned HUD-assisted and/or -insured housing. These centers work to build self-reliant neighborhoods that meet the needs of lower-income families and seniors where they live.

School Directory

JHAI Foundation - We asked a pioneer in the microcomputer field, "Why should we introduce computers to schools in Laos?" She thought a long time, then said, "Communication and business. It is another way to communicate with one another within a community and across the world. And in a few years computers will not just be an option for business, they will be a requirement. Poor countries should not be locked out of this."

International Review of R&D Priorities and Funding

Ben of Ben & Jerry thought that the financial differences between clothes produced in non-sweatshop outfits and those in the sweatshop cases he found only a 5% difference in the final cost to consumers in like products. "It's $1 on a $20 shirt". So he applied the same principles he used when creating Ben and Jerry's: Find other places to cut costs besides labor (better, more efficient machinery) and keep the employees happy - thus increasing production. Furthermore, he let unions in from the outset and made every employee an owner in the company. He found that cutting costs in other places really meant upgrading the technology the workers used. If the company invested in new equipment it increased productivity to the point that all the other problems go away! It is about the business model - not labor! Create Value and Create it NOW!

Semester at Sea provides opportunities for the exploration and study of many of the people, places and cultures around the world. Our programs are designed primarily for undergraduate students seeking to include study abroad in their college experience. Additionally, through our Continuing Education Program, a limited number of non-student travelers can take advantage of the Semester at Sea experience.

Mandate the Future
age group between 15 and 30 \focus on promoting youth opinion on sustainable development, diplomatic conflict resolution, women's rights, and young people's economic, educational and health rights.

"This is the civil rights movement of the 21st century," says Michael Klonsky, director of the Small Schools Workshop at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Small schools help poor and minority children most, he says, because "the neediest kids find support in smaller, personalized environments where they're known not just for their deficits ... but for their assets." It is primarily urban districts, who need to address racial and economic achievement gaps, and find small schools have the potential for making education more equitable.


A Nation Online: How Americans Are Expanding Their Use of the Internet, Washington, D.C.February 2002
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact
Jim McConnaughey at NTIA at (202) 482-1880 or by email or
Wendy Lader Senior Policy Analyst
National Telecommunications and Information Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce
(202) 482-1150 (ph)
(202) 482-8058 (f)

Randal D. Pinkett
Researches Information systems that support community building in low-income communities, or more specifically, asset-mapping (resource sharing) between residents, organizations, and businesses in minority and urban housing developments.

Free Access to Human-Computer Interaction Resources
for those interested in using information and commmunication technologies to strengthen communities

National Policy Association
Digital Economic Opportunity Committee Bob Warner <> Director, Washington DC [p] 202-884-7628

For Minorities and Underserved

The Wireless Foundation
ClassLink addresses the challenge that 90 percent of all classrooms in the U.S. do not have a telephone, and that many schools are unable to install computer and phone lines due to aging buildings and the danger of asbestos. Schools are selected to receive phones through an application process.

Philanthropy Portal Offers Charity and Volunteer Opportunities
Network for Good, an independent, 501(c)(3) organization AOL Time Warner Foundation and AOL, Inc.; the Cisco Systems Foundation and Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Yahoo! Inc., in partnership with over 20 nonprofit foundations and associations, search the charity database by keyword or by area of interest and location. Search for volunteering opportunities by area and interest. "Speak Out" section, to get government and media information and media alerts for your area.

The Northern Ute tribe, seeking to enhance economic opportunities, paid cable companies to install hundreds of miles of high-speed optical cable through the mountainous terrain of the 4.5 million-acre Uintah and Ouray Reservation located 150 miles east of Salt Lake City in Utah. High tech could strongly influence the future of this tribe, which suffers unemployment rates of 65% or more. Now Uinta River Technology (URT) is one of a handful of Native American IT outsourcing companies that have sprung up in recent years. Native Americans have been traditional underserved by information technology. The 1995 Census found that 53% of American Indians' homes did not even have a phone. But tribes like the Northern Ute and the Cheyenne River Sioux are hoping that new technologies will help bridge economic and information divides. "With information-management work, there are no boundaries," says Carey Wold, the URT's general manage. "The walls [around the reservations] have come down. With technology, [Native Americans] have more choices. They are empowered." [SOURCE: Business Week, AUTHOR: Olga Kharif] (

Karen Radney Buller is a member of the Comanche Nation of Oklahoma. President and CEO of the National Indian Telecommunications Institute (NITI), a non-profit organization dedicated to employing advanced technology
to serve American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians in the areas of education, economic development, language and cultural preservation, tribal policy issues and self-determination.

National Indian Telecommunications Institute
110 N. Guadalupe Suite 9
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 986-3872
(505) 989-4271
Buller, Karen Radney (Moderator)
President and CEO
Phone: (505) 983-2878 (H)

Ms. Buller is an advocate for education, telecommunications, and Indian issues. She began her teaching career at Haskell College (now Haskell Indian Nations University). In 1982 Haskell students voted for Buller to receive Haskell's
outstanding faculty award for her teaching excellence and commitment to Indian students. She has served on many parent and teacher boards in her current home city Santa Fe, NM and is well known by New Mexico legislators for her work towards education reform for Santa Fe Public Schools. Buller is a recognized telecommunications expert in Indian Country. She has testified before both houses of the U.S. Congress and the FCC on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the Universal Service Fund and its impact on Indian communities. Buller, "an early adopter" of the Internet, saw the potential of using the Internet to improve education for all students, but especially for Indian children. Her work at NITI ties together her passions for advancing Indian communities using the power of telecommunications to its
fullest potential, and improving education for all children. From 1995 to 1998 NITI trained teachers at tribal schools to create culturally appropriate web-based lesson plans and to perform basic networking and troubleshooting of computers through its basic technical training and computer-building workshop. This project was supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and NASAs Minority University-Space Interdisciplinary Network (MU-SPIN).
NITIs on-going projects continue Buller's efforts to support Indians through the use of technology.

Frank M. Blythe
Executive Director and a founding member Native American Public Telecommunications, Inc. (NAPT)
Director for American Indian Radio on Satellite Network
Co-Director for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium's Distance
Education Network
Director of Vision Maker Video.
Native American Public Telecommunications
1800 No 33 St, PO Box 83111
Lincoln, NE 68501
(402) 472-3522
Fax: (402) 472-8675

Craig, Evans
Education, Outreach & Training Manager
AHPCC ? Albuquerque High Performance Computing Center
University of New Mexico
1601 Central, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87301
fax: 505?277?8235

Geoffrey C. Blackwell
Attorney Advisor & FCC Liaison to Tribal Governments
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Consumer Information Bureau, Office of the Bureau Chief
Room 5-C864
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554
ph: (202) 418-8192
fax: (202) 418-2839

Cheryl Johnson, Councilman
Lummi Indian Business Council
and Chair, Telecommunications Sub Committee

Dr. Gerald "Carty" Monette, of Belcourt, North Dakota, is one of the founding fathers of the Tribal College movement and the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. He is the President of Turtle Mountain Community College. He serves as a member of the National Advisory Group to the Institute of Higher Education's New Millennium Project, a member of the National Agriculture Research, Extension, and Economics Advisory Board, and a member of the North Dakota Information Technology Council.

The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program exists to create a bridge of hope between Native Americans and other cultures. It allows us to reach out to one another, share our gifts, and mend the broken circle of our relationship with the Land and the Native Americans who hold it in sacred trust.

Adopt an Elder

The Program supports the traditional Elders who live in the cultural and spiritual traditions of The Dine' People. Most live in remote portions of the Dine's (Navajo) reservation. Many live in traditional hogans, and some raise sheep as a means of maintaining themselves. The Program provides food, simple medicines, clothing, fabric and yarns to help these Elders live on the Land in their traditional lifestyle. As they have become elderly, it has become more difficult for them to support themselves on the Land in their traditional ways.

Classroom Grandma

Adopt a Classroom Grandmother:This program is designed for elementary school classrooms to become more familiar with the Navajo traditional people. The Program is organized in the Native American spirit of the Giveaway Circle. The Giveaway Circle has a tradition of giving the best that we have. That may be a gift of time, talents or skills, or actual gifts of food and clothing. When asked what the boxes of food and clothing meant to her, one Grandmother explained that they were like "miracles from the sky." The miracle is the letters and gifts that arrive from people that the Grandmothers don't know and that they may never meet.For the students interested in adopting a Grandmother, we prepare a special brochure which describes the needs of the Grandmother, and tells a little about who she is and how she lives. The brochure is camera-ready can be copied and distributed to the students in the classroom. If you would like to have a classroom adopt an Grandmother, write us (Adopt-A-Native-Elder, POB 3401, Park City, UT. 84060) or e-mail us. Please let us know the size of the class, the ages of the children, the name of the teacher, and who the brochure should be mailed to.

Examples of Classroom Projects
Each classroom project is a little different, depending upon the needs of the teaching experience. One Arizona elementary school took on the project as a school and held competitions between classrooms to collect canned foods. In some cases, the students in the classroom collect cans of food or other items needed by the Grandmother, and then make arrangements to have them mailed to the Grandmother.

One elementary school class had each child put their handprint on a piece of fabric that was then quilted together by other volunteers from a local Church. The quilt was a gift beyond price -- forming another portion of the bridge between cultures.Another classroom took small brown sacks, painted pictures on the sacks, took the sacks home and filled them with canned goods. The students enclosed letters with photos of themselves in the sacks which were then delivered to the Elders.Another classroom prepared traditional Navajo foods (fry bread and Navajo Tacos) for sale. The proceeds from the food stand were used to purchase food certificates and yarn boxes for the Elders.

UN Launches Information Technology Venture to Build 'Digital Bridges' to World's Poor November 21, 2001 - The United Nations yesterday launched a global task force to help build universal interconnectivity and spread the benefits of the digital revolution to the world's poor. An initiative of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Task Force was set up to work with partners such as regional development banks, international donors and non-profit organizations to help mobilize resources around specific programmes and initiatives.
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Schools Now Integrate by Income
In the 19th century, Horace Mann advocated "common schools" that would bring students of all classes together in a kind of training ground for democracy. In the 1960s, racial-integration efforts showed clear links between students' success and the income level of their classmates. When minority children were integrated into schools with mostly low-income whites, their scores showed little improvement. When they were integrated into schools with middle-class whites, they performed much better. Experts say these differences have to do with a host of factors involving parents, teachers, and students themselves. Schools with more middle-class students tend to have greater parental involvement (middle-class parents are four times as likely to join parent-teacher associations), and less teacher turnover. And middle-class students more often expect to attend college - an attitude that can rub off on peers. Each school's percentage of low-income students (defined as those who qualify for a free or reduced-cost lunch) roughly equals the percentage in the district overall. In general, experts say schools have a bigger impact on low-income children than on middle-class kids, for whom family is a stronger educational influence. Putting poor students into a largely middle-class school usually benefits them without hurting the rest. Kids in schools where there are overwhelming concentrations of poverty, will not change the culture of the school, and they're likely to do worse. Most studies seem to find a negative effect [in schools with] above 50 percent low-income.