Last month, the House of Representatives introduced a new resolution designating today, March 21, as National Digital Literacy Day. Sponsored by Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and eight other co-sponsors, the resolution is intended to promote digital literacy, broadband access, and broadband adoption in the United States, citing that one in five adults have no digital literacy skills.
The resolution affirms “leaders in the public and private sectors have worked together and should continue to collaborate and partner to bring the benefits of the Internet to Americans of all ages.” Here at EverFi, we are taking that one step further, creating public-private partnerships to educate students and empower them with the skillset to leverage this technology safely and effectively.
We have partnered with companies across the US that care deeply about this issue to bring innovative digital literacy education to more than 450 middle and high schools in the past year alone.
Neustar, Inc., a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, entertainment industries, has sponsored EverFi’s digital literacy learning platform across California, Virginia, and Kentucky. Other partners include Comcast Corporation, the Entertainment Software Association, and Amplify. Together, we have certified nearly 100,000 students in digital citizenship.
Students need to learn how to use technology responsibly so that they can they positively leverage their understanding of these tools to conduct research, apply to college, network with friends, and pursue careers in technology. Our learning platform informs students on both “nuts and bolts” on how technology works, while also placing them in virtual environments to tackle issues including privacy, security, cyberbullying, digital relationships, and digital footprint. Four out of five students who completed this online curriculum in Fall 2012 felt that ALL students should have to take this course.
So on this Digital Literacy Day, we encourage the private sector to get involved and find innovative ways to help students understand the risks and rewards that technology can bring to their lives.