February 26, 2024

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Philadelphia Extends PHLConnectED, Digital Skill-Building

The City of Philadelphia has announced that PHLConnectED will continue until July 2023 to provide pre-K–12 families with free internet access and has selected grantees to encourage the development of digital skills among pre-K–12 caregivers. PHLConnectED is the city’s initiative to provide free and reliable internet access and is one of the key priorities for sustaining crucial digital equity programmes of the Philadelphia Digital Equity Plan.

The programme in its third year will focus on two key priorities: continuing to connect Philadelphia pre-K–12 families in need to free internet access through Comcast’s Internet Essentials or a T-Mobile hotspot and providing resources for digital skill-building.

To date, PHLConnectED has enabled more than 21,000 internet connections, facilitating educational opportunities and access to valuable information for students and their families. We encourage families and residents in need of internet access to dial 2-1-1 so we can help them overcome the digital divide

– Jim Kenney, Mayor, City of Philadelphia

In its start in the summer of 2020, PHLConnectED prioritised providing free internet connection for students to engage in online learning during the pandemic. The city recognises that internet connection is crucial for students to participate in their education, regardless of their location.

However, having access to devices and the internet is insufficient. People must understand how to use them. Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technology for living, learning, and working. The epidemic underlined the need for caregivers to possess digital skills in order to assist their pupils in school.

The focus of PHLConnectED’s digital skill-building efforts is on pre-K–12 educators in an effort to close the homework gap and strengthen educational assistance for kids. With this in mind, two grants were launched to fund organisations to help caregivers build their digital skills.

The Caregiver Digital Literacy Initiative Grant required organisations to construct a regular schedule of digital skills sessions for any pre-K–12 caregivers or family members to improve their skills to better support their kids.

The School-Based Caregiver Digital Supports Grant provides funds for school-based programmes that assist caregivers in gaining a better understanding of and proficiency with regularly used digital technologies within the school community.

As dependable communicators and easily accessible resources for caregivers, schools and community-based organisations are essential to the work of PHLConnectED in Philadelphia. The city agreed that schools and community organisations can provide people with the digital literacy skills they need to support their children’s education, communicate with schools, and participate actively in their education.

While Philadelphia has been working on digital equity for more than fifteen years, the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated additional resources and a thorough strategic plan. Through working from home, virtual learning, telehealth, and other applications, technology became an integral component of daily life for residents. 

In the next five years, the Digital Equity Plan aims to assist Philadelphia to achieve a baseline level of digital equity. Internet access, digital devices, and digital literacy are the three pillars of digital equity.

Philadelphia will continue to promote digital equity as part of its digital equity efforts. Three specific targets that will help the city achieve its objectives are 1) Funding programmes in Philadelphia that promote digital equity, such as PHLConnectED, Digital Navigators, public computing facilities, and digital literacy classes; 2) Engaging with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regarding Philadelphia’s digital equality needs, particularly in terms of federal funding distribution; and 3) Forming public-private partnerships that encourage businesses and organisations to participate in digital equity and showcasing how bridging the digital divide would benefit the entire city of Philadelphia.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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