International Literacy Day is NEXT WEEK, on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020. Since its inception in 1967, organizations and individuals all over the world dedicate a full day to spreading awareness about literacy issues, through social media, events, or publications. As many events and in-person learning are canceled or modified, this year’s theme is remote and distance learning in the time of COVID-19. Click here to learn more or visit https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/literacyday. The virtual working and learning drew attention to the digital divide – an issue that’s been present for a long time and has only been made worse by the pandemic. Our community is focused on addressing this divide and is striving for digital inclusion, as well as digital literacy!
The Digital Divide is something that prohibits many students, parents, and adults from reaching their full potential. In a world where online learning is becoming the norm, we must ensure that every person has reliable access to the Internet.
- Based on 2018 statistics from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, Cleveland ranks 33rd in the nation when it comes to completely unconnected households (27.42%) and ranks 33rd when it comes to homes without a wireline (44%).
- 44% of Cleveland households do not have high-speed broadband in their homes.
- 34% of Cleveland households do not have a desktop, laptop, or tablet computer in their homes.
- Nearly 50% of households making under $20K a year in Cleveland do not have ANY internet access (including smartphone access).
- About 43% of seniors (individuals aged 65+) in Cleveland do not have ANY internet access or a computer.
- Cleveland was ranked the fourth worst internet-connected city in the United States. Closing the digital divide helps all of us.
- According to The National Skills Coalition, 31% of the U.S. workforce lacks digital skills. That number includes 13% of people who have NO digital skills.
Many of these workers may have fragmented knowledge, where they may be comfortable using a mobile phone to text a photo, but not be familiar with how to operate a mouse or upload a job application. This is especially true of households without a laptop or desktop computer.
Workers in construction, transportation, and storage have the lowest industry levels of digital skills, where 50% of workers have no or limited skills.
On September 8th, post of photo of yourself answering this question: “What does digital inclusion mean to you?”
On September 8th, The Literacy Cooperative invites the community to celebrate literacy and spread awareness of the digital divide through a photo campaign on social media. We are asking if you would join us for this important day! Here is what to do:
1. On September 8th, post of photo of yourself answering this question: “What does digital inclusion mean to you?” Take these posts as an example:
- Digital inclusion = connectivity + technology + digital skills
- Digital inclusion = internet is a public utility
- Digital inclusion = social inclusion
2. Use the hashtags #LogInCLE #InternationalLiteracyDay in your post. With your help, we can make digital inclusion a trending topic in the Cleveland area!
4. If you are sponsoring any events for International Literacy Day, please let us know so we can promote them throughout our network.
Please feel free to forward this to your friends and colleagues to encourage their participation. If you have any questions, please email Emma Keating at email@example.com.
Thank you so much for helping us draw attention to this important campaign!
For more information on the digital divide and its effects, you can visit these organizations:
- National Skills Coalition’s Digital Landscape
- The National Digital Inclusion Alliance
- The Cleveland Foundation’s Digital Excellence Initiative
For training and education resources, please visit these organizations:
- Cleveland Public Library (Cleveland.digitallearn.org)
- Cuyahoga County Public Library (https://www.cuyahogalibrary.org/Services/Cuyahoga-Works.aspx)
- East Cleveland Public Library (https://eastclevelandpubliclibrary.org/computer-lab-career-center/, plus access to Lynda.com for library cardholders for training)
- CEOGC (http://www.ceogc.org/professional-development/workshops/ offers Microsoft Office training)
- Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Young Adult Resource Center (https://www.clevelandyrc.org/resources. Has access to many learning resources)
- Youth Opportunities Unlimited (https://www.youthopportunities.org/eyrc/tag/Digital+Skills)
- Ashbury Senior Computer Center (https://www.asc3.org/register-for-classes.html)
- The Literacy Cooperative Contextualized Curricula (https://www.literacycooperative.org/contextualized-curriculum/)