Digital Divide, Digital Opportunity, Technology Skills Statistics- Fact Sheets For Your State

Yesterday I came across The Children’s Partnership, this is the first in a series of posts highlighting some of the fabulous resources on their site.

The Children’s Partnership is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization with offices in Santa Monica, CA and Washington, DC.

We undertake research, analysis, and advocacy to place the needs of America’s over 70 million children and youth, particularly the underserved, at the forefront of emerging policy debates.

The hallmark of The Children’s Partnership is to forge agendas for youth in areas where none exist, to help ensure that disadvantaged children have the resources and opportunities they need to succeed, and to involve more Americans in the cause for children.

These Digital Fact Sheets are great, not only do they include statistics on the digital divide, technology skills and the opportunity gap they compare your state to the national average.  They provide a citation for where the statistics were gathered, a value resource when writing grant proposals, make justifications and aligning projects with your strategic plan. I’ve included the GA one at the bottom so you can get an idea.

Developed by The Children’s Partnership, these state fact sheets provide key data regarding technology and youth, making particular note of problem areas. Use these fact sheets to determine where your state stands and to push for improved digital opportunity for youth. Click on a state to access its fact sheet. For Hawaii and Alaska, click on the state name in the list below.

Georgia Fact Sheet

  • At present, over half (56%) of employed Americans over age 18 use a computer at work.[1]
  • Between 2004 and 2014, jobs in the information technology fields are expected to increase by about 30%, for an addition of over 1 million jobs nationally.[2]
  • 49 out of every 1,000 private sector workers in Georgia are employed by high-tech firms (19th highest rate in the nation).[3]
  • Georgia ranks 11th in the U.S. for overall number of high-tech workers and 17th for average high-tech wage.[4]
  • In Georgia, high-tech industry workers earn an average of $32,396 more per year than other private sector workers.[5]


  • 72% of households in Georgia earning less than $15,000 per year do not own a computer compared to 39% of all Georgia’s households and 38% of all households nationally.[6]
  • 78% of households in Georgia earning less than $15,000 per year do not use the Internet at home compared to 46% of all Georgia’s households and 45% of all households nationally.[7]
  • 9% of households in Georgia earning less than $15,000 per year have broadband compared to 18% of all Georgia’s households and 20% of all households nationally.[8]
  • Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Georgia ranks 31st in percentage of households with a computer, 30th in percentage of households with Internet access, and 28th in percentage of households with broadband access.[9]


  • 21% of 4th graders and 36% of 8th graders in Georgia scored below the basic level of math that is expected in their grade (national average is 19% and 30%, respectively).[10]
  • There are 3.7 students for every Internet-connected computer in Georgia’s public schools; in high-poverty schools there are 3.5 students per connected computer (the national average is 3.7 and 3.8, respectively).[11]
  • In 7% of schools in Georgia, the majority of teachers (at least half) are “beginners” when it comes to using technology (the national average is 15%).[12]
  • Georgia is not among the 34 states that has education technology standards by grade level.[13]


  • Of the 2.3 million children in Georgia, 461,000, or 20%, are living in poverty.[14] Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Georgia ranks 13th in percentage of children living in poverty.[15]
  • 34% of Georgia’s children live with parents who do not have full-time, year-round employment (the national average is 34%).[16]
  • 11% of teens in Georgia do not attend school and do not work (the national average is 8%).[17]
  • Georgia residents aged 20-24 have an unemployment rate of 8.9% (the state unemployment rate for all ages is 4.6%).[18]

March 2008

[1] U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration, Computer Use and Internet Use in the United States: 2003, Issued October 2005, Viewed March 5, 2008: 23-208.

[2] Jay Vesgo, BLS Current and Projected IT Employment Figures by Detailed Occupation, Computing Research Association, Revised January 13, 2006, Viewed March 10, 2008.

[3] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Covered Employment and Wages as reported in American Electronics Association, Cyberstates 2007: A State-by-State Overview of the High-Technology Industry. State rankings associated with footnotes #3-4 are based on data that includes Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, along with the fifty states. A ranking of #1 represents the best state; a ranking of #52 represents the worst. (Not available online.)

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid. Calculation by The Children’s Partnership.

[6] U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey: Computer and Internet Use 2003, special tabulation by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Calculation by The Children’s Partnership. (2003 represents the most recent data available.)

[7] Ibid. Calculation by The Children’s Partnership.

[8] Ibid. Calculation by The Children’s Partnership.

[9] Ibid. Rankings calculated by The Children’s Partnership. A ranking of #1 represents the best state; a ranking of #51 represents the worst.

[10] U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2007 Mathematics Assessment, as reported by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Profiles by State, March 11, 2008.

[11] Market Data Retrieval, “2005-06 Public School Technology Survey,” and unpublished tabulations from MDR’s Public School Technology Survey (2005), as reported in Education Week, Technology Counts 2007: A Digital Decade. This figure includes only computers that are available for student instruction. High-poverty schools refer to schools in which more than half the students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. March 6, 2008: 3.

[12] Education Counts Custom Table Builder. Education Week, August 23, 2007.

[13] The Children’s Partnership, review of the Department of Education Web sites for the 50 states, conducted December 2007.

[14] U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey 2005 Annual Social and Economic Supplement, Revised November 2, 2006, Viewed March 5, 2008.

[15] Ibid. Rankings calculated by The Children’s Partnership. A ranking of #1 represents the worst state (highest percentage of children living in poverty); a ranking of #51 represents the best (lowest percentage of children living in poverty).

[16]Population Reference Bureau, analysis of data from U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2007 Kids Count Data Book, as reported by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, February 29, 2008: 51.

[17] Ibid.

[18] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey: Local Area Unemployment Statistics, Preliminary 2006 Data on Employment Status by State and Demographic Group, March 5, 2008: 3-53.

Posted in Statistics. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Comments Off on Digital Divide, Digital Opportunity, Technology Skills Statistics- Fact Sheets For Your State

Technology Literacy, A Journey, Not a Destintation

yellow brick roadThe New York Times Magazine has an article about Achieving Techno-Literacy. Kelly focuses on the home school aspects of technology literacy but the points he makes can be applies across the board.

He notes:

But the computer was only one tool of many. Technology helped us learn, but it was not the medium of learning. It was summoned when needed. Technology is strange that way.

The same could be said for books. It’s funny how we often see technology as more than the tool it is.

His observations on what it means to be technology literate are spot on.

one of the chief habits a student needs to acquire is technological literacy — and we made sure it was part of our curriculum. By technological literacy, I mean the latest in a series of proficiencies children should accumulate in school. Students begin with mastering the alphabet and numbers, then transition into critical thinking, logic and absorption of the scientific method. Technological literacy is something different: proficiency with the larger system of our invented world. It is close to an intuitive sense of how you add up, or parse, the manufactured realm. We don’t need expertise with every invention; that is not only impossible, it’s not very useful. Rather, we need to be literate in the complexities of technology in general, as if it were a second nature.

Technology will change faster than we can teach it. My son studied the popular programming language C++ in his home-school year; that knowledge could be economically useless soon

I think you’ll find the break down of the kind of technology literacy he attempted to impart to his son useful, not just to apply to the classroom, or workshops but to yourself and your journey.

  • Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.
  • Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.
  • Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.
  • Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.
  • The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.
  • Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?
  • Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?
  • The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.
  • Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

Found via @vonburkhardt

The Infinite Adventures of Dora and Harry

Dora  and Boots

Dora the Explorer & Boots

Dora the Explorer. She is what made Transliteracy click for me. Personally, I can do without the animated child who shouts at her viewers with a forced sense of enthusiasm, but there are thousands…nay, millions of kids in the world who see Dora through much different eyes.

For years now, children have known Dora through the TV show, books, music albums, movies & website games not to mention the kazillions of other Dora merchandise from birthday cake toppers to backpacks. To children, Dora transcends format. She is ubiquitous in a way. If they use a form of media, they can find Dora on it. Yes, this now includes our fancy smartphones. Dora is even on FOURSQUARE!

When these Dora loving children walk into our public libraries, where can they find her? They may want to borrow a Dora DVD, a book (if yours carries them) and they probably want to get on the computers to play some Dora games (how easy is it for a preschooler to do that?).

But, I am only talking about input measures here. Kids are able to understand, interpret & read Dora’s stories through all of these different medias, not to mention telling the stories through their own imaginative play. Technology now empowers kids to explore the other side of Transliteracy – output measures.

Like them or not, branded toys & media can be a springboard for children to take ideas and imagination further, developing 21st Century skills along the way. With a little imagination and freedom, kids can take a story or character they enjoy and bring it into their own world, affecting & changing it. They can choose from many tech tools to create & share content with the world that centers around the original story.

Harry Potter is a great example of this. HP fans make music, write stories, create posters & videos, play role playing games (heard of the International Quiddich Association?) and even attend Harry Potter conventions. There are countless examples of kids and teens creating content inspired by simply reading this series of books.

Technology has given kids a freedom to create  the ability to share what they create. There are over 470,000 HP stories on one fan fiction site alone! They aren’t doing it for an assignment, they aren’t doing it because their parents thought it would be good for their college applications, they do it because they love it and because they can.

This is Transliteracy in action.

The old service model in children’s libraries was input only (sit quietly & listen to the story, kid!). Now, we have the opportunity in libraries to engage with kids in the output side of their Transliterate experience. Libraries can provide opportunities to help them develop new skills, to share their creations & to have more of a dialogue with our kids and their parents. I’m excited to sink my teeth into this concept at my library – aren’t you?

Crap Detection, A 21st Century Literacy

One of the 21st Century Literacies Howard Rheingold talks about is Crap Detection. Though I think the need for critical thinking or analysis has been around a long time, it has become increasingly important as Alan Shapiro demonstrates in his article, The Essential Skill of Crap Detecting

So how do you teach or learn this essential skill? Two librarians at Dominican University have put together this CRAP test

The CRAP test is a way to evaluate a source based on the following criteria: Currency, Reliability, Authority and Purpose/Point of View. Below are some questions to help you think about how to measure each of the criteria.


  • How recent is the information?
  • How recently has the website been updated?
  • Is it current enough for your topic?

Reliability –

  • What kind of information is included in the resource?
  • Is content of the resource primarily opinion? Is is balanced?
  • Does the creator provide references or sources for data or quotations?


  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are the credentials?
  • Who is the published or sponsor?
  • Are they reputable?
  • What is the publisher’s interest (if any) in this information?
  • Are there advertisements on the website?

Purpose/Point of View –

  • Is this fact or opinion?
  • Is it biased?
  • Is the creator/author trying to sell you something?

Learn More

“Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection.” a paper delivered by Neil Postman at the 1969 National Council of Teachers of English annual conference

Crap Detection 101 from Howard Rheingold

Watch this video

The New Media Literacies from USC

Project New Media Literacies was established at MIT Comparative Media Studies and now housed at USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism.  The project is led by Henry Jenkins III, Erin B. Reilly and Vanessa Vartabedian.

Participatory culture shifts the focus of literacy from one of individual expression to community involvement. The new literacies almost all involve social skills developed through collaboration and networking. These skills build on the foundation of traditional literacy, research skills, technical skills, and critical analysis skills taught in the classroom.

The new skills include…

  • Play – the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance – the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • Simulation – the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  • Appropriation – the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking – the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  • Distributed Cognition – the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence – the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  • Judgment – the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation – the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  • Networking – the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • Negotiation – the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms
  • Visualization – the ability to interpret and create data representations for the purposes of expressing ideas, finding patterns, and identifying trends

from Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century, by Henry Jenkins, with Ravi Purushotma, Katherine Clinton, Margaret Weigel, and Alice J. Robison

The site also includes resources like  Reading in a Participatory Culture

The Teachers’ Strategy Guide: Reading in a Participatory Culture, offers strategies for integrating the tools, approaches, and methods of Comparative Media Studies into the English and Language Arts classroom. This guide is intended to demonstrate techniques which could be applied to the study of authorship in relation to a range of other literary works, pushing us to reflect more deeply on how authors build upon the materials of their culture and in turn inspire others who follow to see the world in new ways.

Mapping in a Participatory Culture

This online guide is related to mapping in a participatory culture. The framework provides the guidance and the strategies are illustrated through the resources, projects, ideas, and people profiled. It is not meant to be complete. It is meant to keep growing as technology and the needs of educators evolve. It is meant to be more aggregate than prescriptive.

Celebrate International Literacy Day, Read Something

From the UNESCO site:

On International Literacy Day each year,UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.
About 759 million adults still lack literacy skills. Two-thirds are women. The International Literacy Day global celebrations will therefore focus on the transformation literacy can bring to women’s lives and thosen of their families, communities and societies.

Why is literacy important?

Literacy is a human right, a tool of personal empowerment and a means for social and human development. Educational opportunities depend on literacy.

Literacy is at the heart of basic education for all, and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality and ensuring sustainable development, peace and democracy. There are good reasons why literacy is at the core of Education for All (EFA).

A good quality basic education equips pupils with literacy skills for life and further learning; literate parents are more likely to send their children to school; literate people are better able to access continuing educational opportunities; and literate societies are better geared to meet pressing development .

Collection of good practices
Presents short info sheets on about 80 literacy programmes from all over the world presented at the UNESCO Regional Conferences in support of Global Literacy.

More Ways to Celebrate

Digital Literacy from Google

Google has put together a great resource for staying safe online. The Digital Literacy Tour includes instructor booklets and student handouts plus some great videos on YouTube

At Google, we support the education of families on how to stay safe online. That’s why we’ve teamed up with online safety organization iKeepSafe to develop curriculum that educators can use in the classroom to teach what it means to be a responsible online citizen.

The curriculum is designed to be interactive, discussion filled and allow students to learn through hands-on and scenario activities. On this site you’ll find a resource booklet for both educators and students that can be downloaded in PDF form, presentations to accompany the lesson and animated videos to help frame the conversation.

Workshop 1: Detecting Lies & Staying True

Workshop 2: Playing and Staying Safe Online

Workshop 3: Steering Clear of Cyber Tricks

The YouTube Videos

via Adventures In Corporate Education

%d bloggers like this: