March 21, 2013 is National Digital Literacy Day! (H.Res.81)
As the nation recognizes the importance of bridging the digital divide today, the California Technology Agency continues to expand efforts to encourage broadband adoption, digital literacy and foster digital education statewide through the appointments of two advocates – Assistant Secretary for Broadband and Digital Literacy Adelina Zendejas and Associate Secretary for Digital Education Veronica Ortiz-Torres.
Established in 2011, the Technology Agency’s Office of Broadband and Digital Literacy is responsible for promoting collaboration between public and private entities and fostering statewide broadband initiatives, digital literacy campaigns, as well as working with key stakeholders to close the digital divide. The Agency has partnered with the California Public Utilities Commission, Department of Education, State Libraries, Department of General Services and CalRecycle, along with numerous public organizations to promote computers to schools/homes initiatives and training for teachers on how to teach digital literacy skills in California’s classrooms.
In 2012, the Technology Agency, LinkAmericas Foundation and the California Emerging Technology Fund launched the iCalifornia Digital Literacy Campaign to raise awareness of the critical need for digital literacy skills and build community engagement, access and opportunities.
As of last year, 73% of Californians have Internet access, however, some demographic groups fall well behind this average. The Technology Agency continues to support efforts by public and private stakeholders to develop programs for digital literacy, Internet adoption and deployment. The Technology Agency has also launched the California Mobile Gallery to provide greater accessibility to government, developed an Office of Digital Education, is partnering with public and private agencies to target urban areas with low adoption rates and is reviewing the application process to bring broadband to unserved/underserved areas. By working together and building a bridge across the digital divide, we will provide equal access to technology and equal economic opportunity to all Californians.