Photo Credit: New York State Library
The New York State Library and State Education Department announced a series of webinars designed to establish a shared understanding of how digital equity can help close the digital divide. On September 10, 2020, over 200 educators, librarians, and other community leaders participated in the first installment of the webinar series featuring Next Century Cities’ Executive Director, Fracella Ochillo. Her presentation, “Understanding Digital Equity & Inclusion,” outlined New York’s long-term commitment to expanding broadband access and key factors for increasing broadband adoption.
Local officials are often called on to address affordability, equipment barriers, digital literacy, and/or technical support to ensure that every resident, including the most disadvantaged, can benefit from digital opportunities. Successful digital inclusion strategies must account for digital equity, an acknowledgment that some populations need more support than others in order to get online.
Francella reminded participants that successful digital inclusion strategies depend on:
- being able to define a shared goal,
- collecting data on the state of connectivity for residents throughout the community,
- assessing of what resources are available,
- engaging a variety of stakeholders; and
- identify metrics to evaluate success.