Digital Inclusion Response Resources for COVID-19

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(Updated 4/1/20)

Affordable Internet Access

  • OPEN INTERNET — Charlotte Mecklenburg Library said it will extend WiFi signals at all branches “to reach the perimeter of the facility” 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During the closures, library staff will oversee online chats for those navigating the system’s website. — Learn more at https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/coronavirus/article241248691.html
  • INTERNET MAP — The NC Broadband Infrastructure Office created a map where all the low-cost/emergency offers from providers are listed and mapped. North Carolinians can enter their address, and see which offers are available to them at their location. It will be updated as new offers from providers with footprints in NC are announced. —https://www.ncbroadband.gov/covid19broadband/
  • ISP OFFERS — The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has compiled a list of current offers from ISPs that will help low-income households to acquire service at low or no cost. Most have eligibility limitations linked to income or program enrollment. The list also includes established, nationally available low-cost plans offered by nonprofit organizations. They will add other providers’ plans as we learn of them. — https://www.digitalinclusion.org/free-low-cost-internet-plans/
    • Charlotte Specific Offerings:
      • CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS / BroadbandNow Charter Spectrum Coverage Map / CALL 1-844-488-8395 / News release
        • TYPE OF SERVICE: Cable Internet service at download speed up to 100 Mbps. No data limitation. Home wi-fi is included at no extra charge.
        • COST: 60 days of service at no charge. No installation charge. No contract.
        • WHO’S ELIGIBLE: Households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription, or are new customers in the last 30 days. Current customers adding free internet must have accounts “in good standing”; not valid for current or former customers with bad debt.
      • AT&T / BroadbandNow AT&T Internet Coverage Map / APPLY ONLINE / Access From AT&T web page
        • NAME OF PLAN: Access From AT&T
        • TYPE OF SERVICE: ADSL or AT&T Fiber service at fastest speed available up to 10 Mbps down. No data limitation.Home wi-fi is included.
        • COST: Provided at no cost for first two months (must apply by April 30, 2020). Then $5 or $10 per month depending on available download speed. No additional charges including installation or wi-fi modem.
        • WHO’S ELIGIBLE?: Households with household incomes below 135% of Federal poverty guidelines, and/or participating in the Federal school lunch program or the Head Start program. No outstanding debt for AT&T fixed Internet service within the last six months.

Free Digital Literacy Training

  • ONLINE LEARNING — Digital Charlotte has created an open-source resource for remote work and online learning digital tools and products. If you are looking for an online list for remote work or online learning, view this resource at http://bit.ly/digcltremote
  • ONLINE LEARNING AND RESOURCES — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library offers a number of resources to cardholders through their digital branch. If you do not have a library card already and our a resident of Mecklenburg County, you can sign-up for one directly on the site. The digital branch contains books, videos, music, and access to a number of other resources like Lynda.com. View this resource at https://digitalbranch.cmlibrary.org/
  • LEARNING — UNC-TV and the NC Department of Public Instruction are partnering to support school-age children learning at home by providing free, curriculum-informed, over-the-air content that is widely accessible to students—especially those with limited or no internet access.

    Each weekday, two blocks of programs on UNC-TV’s North Carolina Channel will serve students: fourth through eighth grade, from 8 AM-1 PM, and ninth through twelfth grade, from 1-6 PM.

    View this resource at https://www.unctv.org/unctv-at-home-learning/
  • ONLINE LEARNING — Read Charlotte has worked with community partners to curate this list of resources to help families keep learning alive at home for children from Pre-K-12th grade amid school closures due to the COVID-19 epidemic. View this resource at https://readcharlotte.org/learning-at-home/
  • ONLINE LEARNING — The GCFLearnFree.org program has helped millions around the world learn the essential skills they need to live and work in the 21st century. From Microsoft Office and email, to reading, math, and more—GCFLearnFree.org offers more than 200 topics, including more than 7,000 lessons, more than 1,000 videos, and more than 50 interactives and games, completely free.We’ve created an open-source resource for remote work and online learning digital tools and products. View this resource at https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/

Technology

If your organization is looking to supply technology to the communities you serve, here are three organizations to consider reaching out to:

  • COMPUTERS E2D (“Eliminate the Digital Divide”).
    • The mission of E2D is to ensure that all students have affordable access to essential at-home technology and digital literacy training to support academic success and prepare students for college, careers, and beyond.
  • COMPUTERS Kramden Institute
    • Mission: Providing Technology Tools and Training to Bridge the Digital Divide. Collect, refurbish and award computers to students and families without a computer in their home. Inspire students to succeed by teaching them a critical computer, software and Internet skills. Recycle and reuse donated computers and parts; extending their lives and reducing e-waste.
    • Phone: 919-293-1133
    • Fax: 919-293-1239
    • Email: info@kramden.org
    • Website: https://kramden.org/
  • COMPUTERS PCs for People

Livestream Discussions

  • LIVESTREAM On 3/25/20, we live-streamed a conversation with Rick Thames, former editor of the Charlotte Observer and current Queens James L. Knight School of Communication faculty discussing how organizations, governments, and philanthropy might think about their role in the media literacy skills of the communities they serve during this crisis. — Watch this conversation at https://digitalcharlotte.org/livestream-media-literacy-and-covid-19-discussion/