Created by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, California Connects (CC) was built through a partnership between community members, local educators, and academic researchers who shared the conviction that everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from the abundance of information, services, and personal and professional connections available through broadband technology. Sustainable, community-level broadband adoption programs are necessary for ensuring that opportunity. From February 2011 through June 2013, California Connects implemented innovative programs to try to serve the needs of California’s most underserved populations.
California Connects had three distinct strategies:
California Connects provides a solid blueprint for addressing the challenges of digital destitution and building the foundation for digital equality. By engaging with communities and individuals within them, it forged new connections to the digital world. The California Connects programs investigated the process of becoming digitally competent, from outreach to pedagogical practices to curriculum design, assessing how to effectively respond to the linguistic and economic priorities of communities while maximizing their available resources. Through collaboration with independent researchers, California Connects also gained valuable insights from classroom observations and from interviews, focus groups, and surveys of program participants and leaders.
Digital equality ensures that all individuals have equal opportunity for connecting independently to the social and economic benefits that the Internet offers. Digital equality means:
Digital equality means that all people are able to participate in the economic, social, political, and institutional processes that technology facilitates.
Individuals and institutions that interact with the world via broadband-related technologies have a competitive advantage over those that do not. Being unable to use network technology both reflects and recreates existing patterns of poverty and systemic inequality within California and across the United States. Digital Destitution is a state of disconnection from the vital economic, social, and institutional processes that depend on broadband technology. Read more about digital destitution…
As broadband technologies become ever more integral to society, California Connects and programs like it are creating and implementing versatile strategies for connecting communities to these vital technologies.
California Connects sought to: