Summer break is here, but we do not have to take a break from learning. This summer, we can work together to help counter summer learning loss and increase digital literacy throughout our communities. It’s clear that connectivity is the new pen and paper, as the past two years have demanded that education adapts to a digitally connected world.
The problem: Fast and reliable internet is critical in and out of the classroom, but millions of students still struggle to access virtual learning. Moreover, lack of digital literacy remains a key barrier to broadband adoption and digital inclusion.
- 73% of parents and 70% of teachers anticipate that the traditional classroom learning environment will rely more heavily on technology in the future.1
- However, about 16% of U.S. adults are not digitally literate.2
- And up to 40% of disconnected students face significant adoption barriers, such as insufficient digital literacy or language barriers.3
The goal: To narrow the digital divide, families, students and teachers need access to engaging, relevant educational content that demonstrates the value of connections and encourages safe usage of the internet. Expanding this access will go a long way towards creating better learning outcomes for our students and setting them up for success in the digital world.
We’re here to help: AT&T ScreenReady, is a free platform to help families make safe and positive online connections through resources such as:
- Digital literacy online courses with the Public Library Association, to help newly connected parents and families build skills and confidence using technology.
- Digital safety information to provide users with tips and tools to safely access the internet and keep their families protected.
- Digital parenting guides that offer expert advice to create an online and entertainment experience that is right for each family. For additional resources on digital parenting, learn more here.
Together with our employees, we also offer in-person digital literacy workshops in some of our AT&T Connected Learning Centers, like those in Cleveland and Dallas. Starting this fall, local librarians will also host digital literacy workshops in local libraries with support from AT&T. We will continue to invest in digital inclusion, literacy and learning to help connect today’s learners with skills, resources, and opportunities for success wherever they learn.
To expand our reach further, we’re collaborating with local organizations so we can help even more students and families navigate the internet.
- We are working with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), which provides computer resource rooms with digital skills and coaching to parents and families in up to 16 community-based organizations around the country.
As summer break begins, internet connectivity and digital literacy are vital to helping students have access to learning opportunities outside the classroom. With AT&T ScreenReady and our community outreach programs, we’re working to prepare students for this coming fall along with future opportunities in the digital world.
1 Morning Consult (April 2021). AT&T – HOMEWORK GAP SURVEY.
2 Mamedova, S. & Pawlowski, E. (May 2018). A Description of U.S. Adults Who Are Not Digitally Literate.
3 Common Sense Media (February 2021). LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD: What it will take to permanently close the K–12 digital divide.