October 26, 2015
ConnectHome is a platform for collaboration between local governments, public housing agencies, Internet service providers, philanthropic foundations, nonprofit organizations, and other relevant stakeholders that will produce local solutions for narrowing the digital divide.
ConnectHome is the next step in the President’s continued efforts to expand high speed broadband to all Americans and builds on his ConnectED initiative that is on track to connect 99 percent of K-12 students to high-speed Internet in their classrooms and libraries over the next five years. ConnectHome will help ensure that these students still have access to high-speed Internet once they are home.
Why? Today, more school work is assigned online and our lowest income children are continuing to fall behind. This “lag” may very likely perpetuate generational poverty, leaving more children behind and unable to compete for education, jobs and other opportunities. Do we as a nation want more and more of our future generation to lack the skill necessary to be productive, contributing members of our communities? We believe not. We believe it would be unconscionable to knowingly keep opportunities from our children’s hands and deny them a productive future.
There are still gaps in high-speed internet access.
- Only 49% of African Americans and 51% of Hispanics have high-speed internet at home, as compared with 66% of Caucasians. Internet speed has important effects on media access, especially when it comes to streaming video, so this gap is significant.
- In a Pew survey of teachers, teachers of low income students tended to report more obstacles to using educational technology effectively than their peers in more affluent schools.
- Among teachers in the highest income areas, 70% said their school gave them good support for incorporating technology into their teaching. Among teachers in the lowest income areas, that numbers was just 50%.
- Fifty-six percent of teachers in low income schools say that their students’ inadequate access to technology is a “major challenge” for using technology as a teaching aid.
- Fifty-four percent of all teachers said their students had adequate internet access at school, but only 18% said their students had adequate access at home. Interestingly, urban teachers are more likely to say students have poor access to internet at school, while rural teachers are more likely to report that students have poor access at home.
The ConnectHome work seeks to:
- Make broadband Internet more adoptable by building new models to provide broadband infrastructure and to offer residents free or discounted service.
- Make broadband Internet more valuable by giving residents localized, free, and culturally sensitive training in essential digital literacy skills that will allow them to effectively utilize high-speed Internet.
- Make broadband Internet adoption sustainable by providing devices and technical support to our residents and by refocusing existing HUD resources to supplement and sustain the work of ConnectHome.
More about ConnectHome here: http://connecthome.hud.gov/
We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty, Mother Teresa