Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students

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For the past several years, until it was recently curtailed because of budget issues, our school worked with parents to sponsor a successful effort providing home computers and internet access to immigrant families. They, in turn, would use the technology to improve their English skills. I thought I’d bring together posts about that project, and additional links to articles about somewhat similar efforts around the country.

I’m sure there are programs I don’t know about so, if you know of others, please leave information in the comments section of this post.

You might also be interested in two other “The Best…” lists that are related to this topic:

The Best Sites That Students Can Use Independently And Let Teachers Check On Progress, which shares some sites we’ve had students in the program use at home.

The Best Places To Find Research On Technology & Language Teaching/Learning, which shares a few of the same links on this list, and also additional ones.

Here are my choices for The Best Resources For Learning About Schools Providing Home Computers & Internet Access To Students:

I’ll start off by sharing links to a few articles I’ve written about the project we had at our school:

Online Learning Leverages Literacy to ELL Families

Family Literacy Project Update

Newest Assessment Results From Family Literacy Project

Latest Assessment Results From Family Literacy Project

Latest Results Of Our Home Computer Project

Even More Success with English Language Learning

Family Literacy, Computers, and ESL

Here are other articles and posts:

T.H.E. Journal has just published an article about a group called Computers For Youth.

$9 Million Program Gives Students Wireless Internet Access At Home, Not Just At School is about a new FCC program.

“Computers at Home: Educational Hope vs. Teenage Reality”

My “Take” On Recent Study Saying Home Computer Usage Can Lead To Lower Test Scores

The UK has, or had, a major effort called the Home Access Initiative. One site says it’s closed now, but this article indicates it’s still going on, but at a reduced level. It would be great if any UK readers could provide accurate information in the comments section.

Of course, this post would not be complete without some links to the One Laptop Per Child program. You can visit their official website, along with a positive article about it from The Guardian. The Voice of America has just run a story critical of the program, and here’s a similarly critical post. I’d love to hear comments from readers on this, too.

Computer Equity Efforts in Chicago is from Learning First. It describes an effort to provide low-cost computers and internet service to families.

Comcast Begins Program To Offer Inexpensive Internet Access & Computers To Low-Income Families

The Atlantic has published a good summary of initiatives across the United States that are designed to provide Internet access to low income families.

The Los Angeles Times writes about a new program that includes a mobile computer lab and center designed to help Latinos gain more access, and become more familiar with, the Web.
The organization sponsoring the effort, Club Digital, offers some nice and simple video computer tutorials on their site. Even better, you can choose English or Spanish versions of them.

Most Big Cable Companies Agree To Provide Low-Cost Internet To Low-Income Students

More Info On FCC’s Plan To Get Internet & Computers To Student Homes

My Thoughts On Today’s NY Times Article About The “Digital Divide”

“Mixed Response to Comcast in Expanding Net Access”

New Effort To Get Internet & Computers Into Hands Of Low-Income People

Another Study On Schools Providing Students Home Computers Finds The Obvious Results

Using Tech to Teach English is the title of a new guest post I’ve written over at the International Reading Association’s blog, Engage.

Comcast Internet Essentials for low-income families doesn’t include wi-fi is from The Hechinger Report.

Here’s a listing of various programs designed to provide low-cost Internet service.

The Comcast-Khan Academy Partnership Could Be Trouble is from Slate.

Comcast Indefinitely Extends Low-Cost Broadband for Poor Families is from The New York Times.

I’ve written a fair amount about Internet Essentials here. It’s Concast’s program to provide online access to low-income students. I have mentioned some skepticism about the program, but I was amazed about how much more skeptical we all should be of it. Read about it at The Washington Post, Why Comcast’s $10 a month Internet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and at Quartz, Comcast promised poor Americans cheap internet, but most of them didn’t get it.

Two New & Intriguing Efforts To Provide Home Internet Access To Students

Time For Comcast To Step-Up & Provide “Net Access For Poor”

Feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

2 Comments

  1. Hi Larry. I backtracked to here from a recent post of yours. In our district in NZ we were inspired by seeing the OLPC at NECC 5 or 6 years ago and returned home wondering how we could participate. It turned out to be too hard, so we embarked on a home grown project. http://Manaikalani.org
    Our district is the lowest socio-ec, most diverse etc in the country and few computers in homes, no Internet
    In 2011 we piloted kids buying their own netbook at $15/month – for many lit

    • Sorry about incomplete comment I am in my tent at the beach on holiday using iPad and it kinda posted itself!
      Many of our kids are literally buying the netbooks themselves on a work scheme their parents wanted. We supply Internet to home by sharing the school Internet wirelessly with the community. 7 schools in same area with masts on roofs using a wireless mesh can make this happen. 2011 pilot was successful, so in 2012 all kids aged 9-19 will have their own device, Internet at home and 1:1 at school.
      We use ubuntu OS on the netbooks and have student technicians to support them.
      Research is available on the website link I shared too.

      I have made such a hash of these comments you don’t need to publish them. Just thought you might be interested in what we are doing in NZ in this space

      Ka kite
      Dorothy

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