Bridging the Digital Divide: A Special Report

Bridging the digital divide, from the front lines

EXCERPTS | Tech professionals and policy makers convened Nov. 5 at Washington Post Live’s Bridging the Digital Divide forum to discuss why the digital gap matters and who is still left out.

Getting schools up to 21st-century speed

President Obama’s ConnectED program calls for public schools to get high-speed service within five years.

Millions in U.S. still lack Internet access

Americans who don’t use Internet are increasingly cut off from rest of world.

Need a digital detox? There’s an app for that.

A growing movement is underway to help highly plugged-in Americans step away from technology.

Waiting for their future to download

OPINION | Forty million K-12 students are being left behind without the Internet access and WiFi they will need to succeed.

 

Bridging the digital divide with Gene Sperling

 

Baltimore Mayor: 'You can’t grow jobs with slow Internet'

Baltimore Mayor: 'You can’t grow jobs with slow Internet'

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says Baltimore could have been a fiber city, but she and others decided the city could become wired without Google. “We own our conduit,” she says. The reason? ”You can’t grow jobs with slow Internet."
'The ideal classroom'

'The ideal classroom'

Richard Culatta is director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology. “We keep talking about personalized learning and that’s key,” he said at Washington Post Live's Bridging the Digital Divide forum.
'I come from the digital divide'

'I come from the digital divide'

Zach Leverenz is the CEO of EveryoneOn, a national nonprofit working to create high-speed, low-cost Internet, computers and free digital literacy accessible to the unconnected pockets of the country.
Broadband, the new electricity?

Broadband, the new electricity?

Maine state representative Diane Russell tells Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan, 50,000 households in Maine still have dial-up access to the Internet.
'Digital literacy doesn't mean a lot' to people offline

'Digital literacy doesn't mean a lot' to people offline

“We’re living in a digital reality, a digital realm now,” says Terry Bradwell, executive vice president for AARP. He tells Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan, ”Digital literacy doesn’t mean a lot to people going into the technology realm. We use terms like 'help you find a job’ … those are more real-life terms.”
Broadband adoption 'not just about seeing my friend's cat doing something funny'

Broadband adoption 'not just about seeing my friend's cat doing something funny'

Laura Breeden is the program director of public computing and broadband adoption for the NTIA Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. Breeden tells Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan, “Broadband adoption is a complicated issue. It’s not just about the money. It’s not just about learning how to use it.”
Estella’s Brilliant Bus

Estella’s Brilliant Bus

Estella Pyfrom's Brilliant Bus offers computers and Internet access to inner-city kids. Pyfrom, 76, brought her bus from Florida to The Washington Post building for Washington Post Live's 2013 Bridging the Digital Divide forum.
Digital divide not just about hardware, but people

Digital divide not just about hardware, but people

Kelley Ellsworth is Byte Back’s executive director. She said at Washington Post Live's Bridging the Digital Divide forum, ”Having access to technology is not really about the hardware, it’s about the people.” Ellsworth noted that learning technology is scary for adults and that creating comfort is big step.
Gene Sperling: Wonders of technology 'should be a way of equalizing'

Gene Sperling: Wonders of technology 'should be a way of equalizing'

National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling spoke to Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan about the power of technology and education as a equalizing force at the 2013 Digital Divide Summit.
FCC Commissioner: 'We've got to connect to compete'

FCC Commissioner: 'We've got to connect to compete'

Federal Communications Commissioner Mignon Clyburn talks about what needs to happen to accomplish universal broadband for low-income schools and about her own South Carolina upbringing in conversation with Washington Post Live editor Mary Jordan at the 2013 Bridging the Digital Divide Summit.
Rep. Matsui (D-Calif.): 'Even in California we have areas where we're not connected'

Rep. Matsui (D-Calif.): 'Even in California we have areas where we're not connected'

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) talks about the culture of technology in her home state in conversation with Washington Post congressional reporter Ed O'Keefe at the 2013 Bridging the Digital Divide Summit.

Speakers

Gene B. Sperling

Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy

Mignon L. Clyburn

Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission

Rep. Doris Matsui

(D-Calif.)

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

Mayor, Baltimore

Lee Rainie

Director, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project

Richard Culatta

Director, U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology

Terry Bradwell

Executive Vice President, AARP

Zach Leverenz

CEO, EveryoneOn

Laura Breeden

Program Director for Public Computing and Broadband Adoption, NTIA

Diane Russell

Maine House of Representatives

Estella Mims Pyfrom

CEO, Estella’s Brilliant Bus

Kelley Ellsworth

Executive Director, Byte Back