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New Children's Partnership report on children and digital opportunity (fwd)

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  • Andy Carvin
    fyi... Please contact the Children s Partnership for more info... -ac For release June 1, 2005 How Can the Internet Help America’s Children Succeed?
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2005
      fyi... Please contact the Children's Partnership for more info... -ac

      For release June 1, 2005

      How Can the Internet Help America’s Children Succeed?

      First-Ever Report by The Children’s Partnership Measures the Effect of
      Digital Technology on Children

      To download the report, visit

      The Children’s Partnership released today the results of a year-long
      study, Measuring Digital Opportunity for America’s Children, that
      examines if and how technology tools help children 1) increase
      educational achievement; 2) lead healthier lives; 3) prepare for the
      workforce; and 4) become engaged in their communities.

      The Digital Opportunity report includes a review of existing research
      and studies to determine how information and communications technology
      (ICT) benefits children, as well as an analysis of how low-income,
      minority and disabled children disproportionately lack access. The
      report also introduces The Digital Opportunity Measuring Stick, an index
      of forty indicators that provides a first-ever snapshot of how the
      Internet and other ICT are benefiting children. The Measuring Stick can
      serve as a baseline for tracking how effectively we are creating and
      delivering digital opportunities for America’s youth.

      The Internet’s use among children has grown faster than any other
      communications medium in history. Over the past 10 years, the number of
      kids accessing the Internet from home has grown from 15 percent to 68
      percent. Of the 46 million children ages 7 to 17 living in the United
      States, 77 percent live in homes with a personal computer and 90 percent
      use a computer at school. Despite this tremendous growth in Internet
      use, efforts are still emerging to assess how and whether information
      and communications tools actually help children and young adults succeed.

      “The Digital Opportunity study found that digital tools are now helping
      kids in a number of ways, including managing their chronic health
      conditions, improving their educational achievement, and enhancing their
      job skills,” said Wendy Lazarus, lead author of the report and
      Co-President of The Children’s Partnership. “Computers and the Internet
      are the 21st century’s gateway to opportunity for children.”

      According to the report, while digital tools are enhancing successful
      outcomes for young people, they are also seriously disadvantaging those
      young people without access and the skills to use them. (See below.)
      However, the report also found that when low-income children do have
      these tools, they use them to gain opportunities for themselves at
      higher rates than wealthier young people.

      “We no longer have a computer gap—we now have an opportunity gap for
      millions of America’s children,” said Lazarus. “This disparity is of
      increasing concern as digital tools become the way to help young people
      succeed in various areas of their lives.”

      Following are highlights from the report which also includes
      recommendations for action. A full copy of the report can be found at

      · Digital opportunities are reaching U.S. children today in all
      four key areas, with opportunities most widespread in the education
      arena. For example, more than half of children ages 7 to 17 use a home
      computer to complete school assignments, and public schools are almost
      universally connected to the Internet.

      · There is a digital opportunity gap for low-income and some
      ethnic minority children. For example, 77 percent of children ages 7 to
      17 from higher-income households (more than $75,000 annually) use a home
      computer to complete school assignments compared to 29 percent of
      children from households earning less than $15,000 annually. Also,
      white and Asian American children ages 7 to 17 are much more likely to
      use a home computer for word processing or desktop publishing (45
      percent and 41 percent) than Latino (23 percent), African American (22
      percent) or Native American (21 percent) children.

      · When access is available to low-income and disabled youth,
      information and communications technology (ICT) is beginning to level
      the opportunity playing field for them. For example, young adults who
      identified themselves as “lower class” are slightly more likely than
      others to visit a doctor or clinic because of information they obtain
      online. Also, ICT devices, such as voice recognition devices, screen
      readers and special keyboards, can help the more than four million young
      people ages 5 to 20 who live with a disability to learn, work and live
      more independently.

      · Home computer and Internet access has become a prerequisite to
      children fully realizing digital potential. Some of the most severe
      disparities facing low-income and ethnic minority children were clearly
      a function of limited access at home to computers, the Internet and
      high-speed connections.

      · More research is needed to further explore the wide range of
      issues related to digital opportunities for children. For example, more
      research is required to determine if children with special needs and
      disabilities are receiving the digital opportunities they need, and how
      ICT is being used to help children prepare for college, find appropriate
      colleges and obtain financial aid.

      Support for the Digital Opportunity research was provided by the Annie
      E. Casey Foundation, though the conclusions are solely those of The
      Children’s Partnership. The Atlantic Philanthropies, Verizon, and
      GraphicMail provided support for the design, printing and dissemination
      of this report.

      The Children’s Partnership is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child
      advocacy organization with offices in Santa Monica, CA and Washington,
      D.C. 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. Since 1993,
      our work has focused on securing health coverage for uninsured children
      and working to extend the benefits of technology to all children and
      their families.

      For more information or to schedule an interview with the authors,
      e-mail DOMS@....

      Learn more about The Children’s Partnership: www.childrenspartnership.org.

      Laurie Lipper


      Carrie Spencer

      Andy Carvin
      Program Director
      EDC Center for Media & Community
      acarvin @ edc . org
      Blog: http://www.andycarvin.com
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