Educational CyberPlayGround ®

End the Digital Divide

Schools and The Digital Divide

Donating School Supplies and Computers

The Communications Act of 1934 DIGITAL EQUITY "Everyone has the right to education."
Article 26 Universal Declaration of Human Rights 12/10/48

The law that established the Federal Communications Commission and remains its fundamental charter.
First paragraph of Section I: ``. . . to make available so far as possible to all people of the United States without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, a rapid, efficient, nationwide and worldwide wire and radio-communications service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges.''


Who Owns a Telephone? and the Wireless alternatives

Digital Divide Must Read ARTICLES
URBAN EDUCATION - Diversity Data
Tax Exempt & NonProfit Organization Information Center



Get our legislators to spend one day of the year like the poorest of their citizens ... trying to get all of their computing needs for the day satisfied with their half-hour allotment at their local public library



ISPs are required to deliver Form 477 data to the FCC indicating broadband availability and speed twice a year. But the FCC doesn't audit the accuracy of this data, despite the fact that ISPs are heavily incentivized to overstate speed and availability to downplay industry failures. The FCC also refuses to make the pricing data provided by ISPs available to the public.



Compare & Connect K-12 uses price transparency so school districts can get more broadband for their budgets


Digital Divides
Lee Rainie, Director of Internet, Science, and Technology research, details the digital divide that Americans face in accessing the internet to the Advisory Board to the U.S. Census Bureau. Using Pew Research Center data spanning 15 years, he discusses how household income, educational attainment, race and ethnicity, age and community type affect internet usage among Americans and how those demographics have shifted since 2000.

Hootsuite Podium plans to educate 1 million social media professionals for free by 2017

Hiring via social networks: work for the wealthy, connected and savvy. As recruiting shifts to closed networks online, many Americans without easy access or social media skills are at a disadvantage.

55 percent of Philadelphia households lack access to Internet: new early data shows rate higher than previously thought

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers is little known, but it wields a tremendous amount of power: It controls all of the Web's top-level domains (those letters after the “dot,” like .com and .org). Currently, ICANN is in the midst of creating hundreds (and possibly thousands) of new, generic top-level domains (gTLDs) that span a host of different ideas, from .web to .cars to .anything-else. These new gTLDs have the potential to dramatically affect the future of Internet browsing, and they're already stirring up some serious discussion. (Saudi Arabia, for one, doesn't want .gay, .bible, or other dozens of other proposed domains to be approved.) But the auction process to distribute them also has the potential for even greater impact than currently envisioned.
ICANN's new generic top-level domain process has been dragging on for years. But this year, it is finally coming to fruition, and as early as April 2013 we are likely to see the first group of new gTLDS—in essence, ICANN will empower specific legal entities to control how to use and sell these domain names.
For instance, the .web gTLD is widely desired by a number of different organizations, as it is the most likely contender to possibly challenge the king of all gTLDs: .com. There are currently eight applicants for .web, including Google, German Internet giant 1&1, and incumbent registry operator Afilias (which manages .org and .info) among other bidders. We expect that the bidding for .web alone is likely to be in excess of $5 million and could potentially reach $10 million or more. For the .app gTLD, there are 11 applicants—and we may see a titanic bidding war between Google and Amazon. There are hundreds more contended strings that are likely to go to auction and raise tens of millions of additional dollars—even $100 million isn't out of the question.
There are more than 1,900 applications for roughly 1,000 unique strings in this first wave. The $185,000 application fee is intended to fund the ICANN process, but the proceeds from contention auctions are considered “excess funds” that are not already earmarked to cover costs. The challenge will be to use these proceeds in a way that best benefits the public interest and the global Internet. In talking with key stakeholders over the last couple of years, everyone agrees that allocating these funds will be a challenge and likely to be fraught with politics.
We've been involved in the ICANN process since its inception, and believe that these proceeds can and should be used to do something game-changing and truly visionary: build and maintain free wireless Internet infrastructure for huge swaths of the continent of Africa or an equally disconnected, high-poverty area of the planet. This is an audacious idea that many might originally dismiss as impractical—but that's because their thinking is stuck inside the box. We know that it can be done—and how. Providing free wireless Internet infrastructure for the continent of Africa would be a dream come true—the kind of outcome that would help bridge the digital divide and garner huge socioeconomic benefits for decades to come. [snip]

Massive Digital Divide for Native Americans is a Travesty Still in 2011

2011 Should your ZIP code determine your access to the American dream? asks Sam Chaltain He finds an "unsettling irony," as we celebrate the 57th anniversary of Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, in reading about Tanya McDowell, who faces felony charges in Connecticut for lying on her son's registration forms so he could attend a better school (echoing the similar case of Kelley Williams-Bolar in Ohio). If Thurgood Marshall, who argued the case before the Supreme Court in 1954, were alive today, Chaltain feels he would "urge us to stop celebrating our symbolic victory in Brown and start accepting our actual responsibility for tolerating a public education system that is, clearly, still separate, and still unequal." Marshall understood that without equal access to a high-quality public education, democracy doesn't work: "Education directly affects the ability of a child to exercise his First Amendment rights," Marshall wrote. "Education prepares individuals to be self-reliant and self-sufficient participants in society. Both facets of this observation are suggestive of the substantial relationship which education bears to guarantees of our Constitution." Chaltain elaborates: "In today's America, when it comes to public education, have we allowed our five-digit ZIP codes to become the equivalent of a lottery ticket to a better future? Is this really who we wish to be?"

What A JOKE: K-12 National Education Technology Plan 2010
The National Education Technology Plan, Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology


The combination of racial isolation and having high numbers of students who live in poverty means that poor students of color are the least likely to attend schools with adequate finances. Inequities in school finance should include those that are apparent after adjusting for demographic cost differentials.3 One recent report analyzed 2003 education data on per child expenditures for school districts each of the 50 states and for the nation. The graph get the PDF shows how when compared to the average district, after adjustments for the higher needs of students living in poverty, much less money per child was allocated to poor and minority students. the per pupil expenditures in the highest minority districts was $964 less than for lowest minority districts.4 When spending in the highest poverty districts was examined the study found that $1,436 fewer dollars were spent per student compared to the lowest poverty districts.

10/2009 Equity funding, a decade and a half later
In an interview with the National Access Network, Tim Hogan, attorney for the plaintiffs in the 1994 school funding case Roosevelt Elementary School District No. 66 v. Bishop in Arizona, describes the impact and the legacy of the decision 15 years on. It was a victory for students in property-poor districts in Arizona, since it ordered the legislature and governor to move responsibility for funding school construction and other capital items away from local districts to the state, and phased out local property taxes to support these. It also created a School Facilities Board to administer the funding for technology, transportation, facilities, and equipment. The problem, relates Hogan, is that in light of massive state deficits, all facilities are now chronically under-funded, and another suit has had to be brought. His organization (the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest) has moved away from an emphasis on school funding, especially in the wake of the Supreme Court's remanding of Horne v. Flores to the lower court, and Justice Samuel Alito's contention that "increased funding alone does not improve student achievement." There are two cases pending in Arizona around funding equity for charters, which Hogan thinks will be hard to argue. The state constitution guarantees adequacy, he says, not equity, and it was on the basis of inadequacy that he argued and won the funding case 15 years ago.

Nasa STS-93 wakeup call, flight day 5
"And the sign said, The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls & tenement halls, and echoed in the Sounds of Silence".
~ Simon & Garfunkel


According to Pew Internet &
American Life Project 79% of English-speaking Latinos access the Internet, beating out African Americans and whites. This 79% represents English-speaking Latinos only. According to the US Census Bureau, there are around 41.3 million Latinos in the US. Of these, nearly 14 million don't speak English well or at all. We have to address those who are marginalized in our society - those that don't speak English AND do not have internet access.



"The State of Americas Children," 2005 edition Includes most recent (September 2005) U.S. poverty data. Chapter 4 can be downloaded for free, find the important statistics you need to know.




If children aren't speaking English then what do K-12 Teachers, Administrators, Reading Teachers and Professors who teach teachers how to teach reading need to know about this?

Literacy Statistics Richard Riley Former Secretary of Education said "54 percent of all teachers have limited English proficient (LEP) students in their classrooms, yet only one-fifth of teachers feel very prepared to serve them. The US Department of Commerce's NTIA researched the percentages of households that had Internet access and since the the turn of the millenium in the year 2000 African Americans surpassed Latinos in access from the house.


"There's already enough stuff for everybody.
The money is a way of creating scarcity. There's machinery that can create a television set for every man and woman and child on the planet. If you don't have a TV because you don't have the money, the money is a valve that's been put between you and the TV. A valve, like ... that you can turn off. Right? Now I can also critique this position from the hindsight of being older, but at the time, and even today, it's still quite compelling. In a world of surpluses, you need new inducements, other than 'stuff', to get people on the treadmill."
~ Peter Coyote

" We may be broke, but we're never poor." ~Emmett Grogan


Source 2004 "According to statistics from august bodies such as the Nua Internet survey and Nielsen-Netratings, just 600m of the world's 6.3bn people are wired to the web. Yet those online often forget that they are in the minority.

"A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age 2004"
Figure 1 on page four of this document (produced by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce) indicates an overall figure for computers in households to be 61.8 percent. But wait! It gets worse! Those with Internet connections are at 54.6 percent and those with Broadband Internet access are at 19.9 percent. The figures for the poor are also still very bad in this report. So, in my view the old Digital Divide is alive and well. How many people known to have computers in the home are counting the Commodore-64 or Vic-20 on the top shelf of their now grown-up and moved-out kid's bedroom!

Motivate a student to finish High School and the young adult to finish college. Let the individual understand what skills are necessary, what it takes to get that job, and what kind of money they can expect to earn with the skills they have.

PBS Digital Divide Recommended Resources

The Teachability Index
"Can Disadvantaged Students Learn?" shows that students today in 2004 are actually somewhat easier to teach than they were thirty years ago.

teachers | digital divide |donate computer | computers in schools


  • 49 percent of Caucasian children use the Internet at home, compared to only 29 percent of African-American children, and 33 percent of Hispanic children.
  • Children from high-income families are more than twice as likely to have home Internet access (66%) than children from low-income households (29%).
  • Despite strong growth in school access from 2000 to 2002 for low-income children (20 to 32 percent), their current school use still significantly lags behind high-income children (47 percent).

Between 2000 and 2002, the number of high-income families with high-speed Internet access almost quadrupled. The study shows school age children in these families watch less TV, spend more time online and get better grades. So we have an emerging gap between "connected" and "well-connected" kids. On one side we have kids with high-speed Internet access at home and plenty of computers in classrooms, and on the other, kids who must share a handful of computers in the school lab. Placing computers in classrooms is essential, but it is just the first step. Technology must become an integral part of teaching and learning in all our schools. We have no choice but to transform today's classrooms in order to build vital technological skills and knowledge for tomorrow's workforce.

President Bush stopped funding efforts for the Digital Divide OBIT:2002
As of 2005 the digital divide does not officially exist in this US, (George Bush) and while we sit on our technology assets other countries are leapfrogging to make a difference and how. Several years ago we used to go and share the possibilities. Now we may possibly be lagging so far behind that we cannot catch up.

U.S. Department of Education Publications March 24, 2000 ED Programs that Help Bridge the Digital Divide
Kirk Winters Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

US Office of Educational Technology - Digital Divide Facts and Grants

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a mailing list to discuss Web standards, specifically relating to outreach and education.



US Technology Workforce

% of Total Workforce % of Tech & Science Workers
People with Disabilities 5.5 14
African Americans 3.2 11
Hispanics 3 10
American Indians 0.3 NA
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1998 Source: National Science Foundation/ Science Resource

Education Boosting the Odds for Educational Use

Rural Areas Magnify the Digital Divide

Native Americans and the Digital Divide

A One Stop Place for Giving and Volunteering

Americans in the Information Age/ Falling Through the Net 1999 Fact Sheets on the Digital Divide




Falling Through the Net II: New Data on the Digital Divide
On July 28, 1998, Secretary Daley released "Falling Through the Net II: New Data on the Digital Divide." At the request of Vice President Gore, NTIA issued this report analyzing telephone and computer penetration rates."

A Little History -- Trends in Universal Service and Access" Slide Presentation by Larry Irving Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information National Telecommunications and Information Administration U.S. Department of Commerce National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Committee on Communications Summer Meeting July 29, 1998

The Advanced Networking Infrastructure and Research division of NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering directorate has awarded a four-year, $6 million grant (ANI-9980537) to EDUCAUSE, an association of over 1,800 member organizations and 190 corporate partners.

Rules For Life In Charles J. Sykes ' message about life to recent high school and college graduates. He listed 11 things they did not learn in school. He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a full generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept has set them up for failure in the real world.

CyberCemetery of electronic files of defunct federal agencies

Freedom of Information Act 5 U.S.C.