62 million Americans are not online. Millions of families do not have home Internet access for learning, civic engagement, connecting with family, or employment searches.
(OCTAE blog April 9, 2014)
If you’re looking for a job, you’ll need to search and apply online. If you want to know about upcoming events at your child’s school, the current school calendar is online. If you’re interested in learning more about public services in your city or town, you’ll need to look online. If you want to learn a new skill, it’s taught online. For some people, especially individuals with lower literacy skills, going online is a challenge. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Internet Project, Who’s Not Online and Why, 76% of internet users go online from a computer in their home. For those who are offline, the cost and skills needed to go online are key barriers. And, the report notes that 41% of those who are offline are individuals with less than a high school diploma.
The World Education/US Division serves as the Region 1 Professional Development Center for the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) through the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS). In that role, we provide a wide variety of evidence-based resources and trainings to adult education professionals in our region. But, that simply isn’t enough. In addition, we encourage key partnerships and initiatives identified by OCTAE that support teaching and learning in adult education. EveryoneOn is both a partnership and an initiative. It provides access to equipment, internet access, and a list of local training locations.
Everyone On is a national non-profit that aims to eliminate the digital divide. Through Everyone On, individuals are able to find Internet service as low as $10 a month, low-cost computers, and free digital literacy courses. In 2013, Everyone On launched a three-year, multimedia, bilingual Ad Council campaign to “help motivate the millions of Americans who do not have the digital literacy skills they need to succeed become connected and take advantage of free digital literacy training in their communities.”
The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) has entered an agreement with Everyone On to pre-qualify enrolled students, teachers, and programs for its computer and Internet offers through a unique hub located at EveryoneOn.org/adulted. This allows students to take full advantage of the opportunity to get Internet access in their homes, while assisting programs to create hot spots of wireless connectivity in classrooms on a flexible and portable basis.