Digital Divide

Project 1: Expanding Digital Access to Zone 1 Students


Assist the Springfield Public School System with IGNiTE, a districtwide initiative that ensures equity of access to mobile technology for students and teachers. In 2015-2016, 18 schools received mobile devices and training. The three-year initiative provides computer devices for all students in grades 3-12 and to make available wireless hotspots for those students/families that don’t have internet access at home. We also recommend that SPS consider extended hours for schools that may provide a venue for access to technology that would otherwise not be available to those families.

Help Needed


Funding for additional 90 devices for IGNITE Zone 1 schools (Devices are $250 each with a monthly $20 per device internet service fee). 

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: Fall 2016
  • Scope: Central and Hillcrest High Schools; Reed Middle School; Bowerman, Boyd and York elementary schools
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.

Project 2: Expanding availability of Springfield-Greene County Library hotspots to Zone 1 patrons


This project will expand the Springfield-Greene County Library district pilot project currently underway in which they are partnering with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to provide wireless hotspots to library card holders.

Background


The Library district currently has 40 devices and a waiting list of 615 for the first copy of 38 devices. Cash is needed for additional devices - $250 each. To get the Library District’s Hotspots to work, however, they must be used in areas served by the Sprint Network because they gave the best deal. The Library currently pays Sprint a monthly fee of $20 per device and receives the 40 Hotspots for free.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: Fall 2016
  • Scope: Additional devices available at Park Central, Midtown Carnegie and Library Station (Zone 1 libraries)
  • Cost: $250 each with $20 monthly fee
  • Want to help? Sign up here.


Project 3: Expanding Springfield-Greene County Library District Computer “Edge” Training

The EDGE is a 12-computer hands-on training lab adjacent to an open area used for laptop training and tutorials at the Midtown Carnegie Branch, located in Zone 1. The EDGE is also home to a 3D printer and a media lab which are available by appointment.

Basic computer software training and Internet training for adults are the main focus of EDGE programs. Self-paced tutorials are available for more advanced software training. 

The mission of The EDGE Community Technology Center is to help close the digital divide by providing a dynamic, safe and inviting environment where members of the community can come to access the newest technology and/or to acquire the training and support needed to help them use information and the power of technology to improve their lives.

The EDGE fulfills the Library’s mission to provide opportunities for lifelong learning, self-improvement and self-expression and to meet the educational, informational and recreation needs of the community.

Help Needed: Funding for program expansion; Help promoting the training; Volunteers with IT/technical experience; Training supplies such as flash drives.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: TBD
  • Scope: Identified Zone 1 locations
  • Cost: $250-150,000
  • Want to help? Sign up here.

Project 4: Analyzing the ability to add WiFi to Parks


The City will convene a subcommittee to evaluate the cost and feasibility of this request, specifically in Doling Park.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: TBD
  • Scope: Doling Park
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here

Project 5: Expanding and Promoting Public Wi-Fi Access


This project investigates the possibility of offering incentives to local businesses that provide publicly accessible Internet access and to encourage local businesses and ISPs to partner with each other to make it affordable to do so and that the City continues to offer free Internet access in its public facilities. The project also includes outlining ideas, potential funding opportunities & partnerships to address digital literacy and Internet access in communities across the U.S.

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: TBD
  • Scope: Zone 1
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.

Project 6: Promoting Low-cost Home Internet Access Programs


Recommend that all local government agencies, schools and libraries help to promote education programs and low-cost Internet access opportunities that are already available in the community, and that they also consider offering surplus computer equipment at low/no-cost for residents that qualify for other benefits such as the free & reduced lunch program through the schools.

Background


Mediacom's “EveryoneOn” initiative is a national program that was started to encourage Internet Service Providers to provide low-cost broadband access for families that have at least one child enrolled in the national free or reduced lunch program. EveryoneOn.org allows anyone to enter their ZIP code and see offers for low-cost broadband access, computers and training locations in that area. The Internet access is $10/month for 1.2 Mbps & 4G data and $20/month for 3.2Mbps & 4G data. Access speeds are slowed if the data quota is exceeded on both plans. 

  • Help Needed: Getting the word out
  • Status: Planning 
  • Timeframe: TBD
  • Scope: Zone 1
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.

Project 7: Finding Affordable Internet Service for Hovey House


Hovey House is a bungalow house, located at 800 W. Hovey, on the edge of Grant Beach Park. It serves as a central hub of activity for programs offered through the Grant Beach Neighborhood Association. Since it opened in 2005, scores of events have taken place in the five-room house, including 4-H Club meetings and sports program sign-ups and more. Outside the home is a 6000-square-foot garden which produces more than 2,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables for members of its food co-op. 

Help Needed


Discount or free service from an internet service provider or financial donations to pay internet bill

  • Status: Planning phase
  • Timeframe: 18 months
  • Scope: 800 W. Hovey
  • Cost: TBD
  • Want to help? Sign up here.