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  1. Please review the topics described below and vote with the thumbs up for any topics you’d like to hear about at the summit.
  2. Comment on topics if you have something to add or if you would like to lead/co-lead/join a panel on the topic.
  3. Feel free to add a new topic by using the form at the bottom.
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More information about hosting or presenting a session  can be found on our Unconference Page.



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  1. The FCC has announced that it will for the first time award low-power FM radio licenses around the country on Oct. 15, 2013. Many communities that are eligible to apply are affected by lack of digital inclusion. Many have no idea that the opportunity for them to legally own a low power station and get public funding to build and operate it exists, and as a result, they are not organizing to apply. After Oct. 15, they will likely never have the opportunity again.

    LPFM may be able to help communities that are not connected to the Internet to learn about what they can do to get connected as well as help them to organize for other community interest initiatives.

    Let’s brainstorm what it would take to support this infrastructure build-out in Washington State.

    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    suggested by: Sabrina

  2. What does digital literacy mean anyway? There are many different definitions – some based on skills, some are more conceptual.

    I’d like to host a discussion on what is digital literacy.

    Should we all be working from the same definition? How does a person achieve digitally literacy? How does someone know if they are digitally literate? Are we missing important concepts in our existing curriculum?

    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    suggested by: Stacey Wedlake

  3. Digital inclusion for jobs, not jail inmates.

    Somewhere in WA the front end of the criminal justice system is an 8-year-old being asked to interpret for some kind of school disciplinary process. I have no more specifics than this but can ask; the issue came up as the list in question is tracking legislation generally related to interpreters. Students of color, many of whom come from families with limited English are overrepresented in many counts of disciplinary issues and criminal justice issues. many parents with limited English face huge challenges supporting their children’s education. The problem is even greater if a child has a disability.

    Many school districts in WA have a large percentage of students who speak languages other than English at home. School districts have trouble meeting the interpreting / language access needs of families with Limited English. One option is professional interpreters. Another model is training bilingual culture brokers, ADULTS who know the subject areas involved and also have enough linguistic competence to hold sway in their communities.

    What could be done to develop training content for bilingual culture brokers and language specific training materials that might meet basic capacity building needs throughout WA?

    What would it take to deliver this training online and to ensure that the target population has the tools needed to access it?

    From the topics proposed and the attendee list, it looks like there might be lots of people with different things to offer about this question. Let’s get together and talk.

    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    suggested by: Dorene Cornwell

  4. Expanding Access to Digital Creation and Development Tools at Public Libraries

    Public libraries are evolving public computing services to deliver more than basic Internet access. Throughout 2013, The Seattle Public Library will expand patron access to open source and commercial creativity and software development tools throughout the system. The session will discuss the resources we intend to make available, and engage participants in a discussion about how these new capabilities can best be supported and delivered. Of particular interest is to learn the ways in which having these resources available at public libraries throughout Seattle can benefit our partners and community organizations who teach digital literacy skills and are looking to expand their reach and access for their patrons.

    Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

    suggested by: Jim Loter

  5. Publishing for accessibility: I am legally blind. I really like being able to read content like books as soon as it is released / published. School districts buying text books need to be able to provide alternative formats as quickly and cheaply as possible.

    What are the issues to do that on the publisher / potential market side?

    What are technology barriers as far as e-book or smartphone format?

    How are access pathways for example related to teh National Library Service changing?

    I have friends who are authors who do not use some electronic release pathways because the return is way too small. What would induce more authors to consider accessibility when choosing how to market their books?

    This topic interests me a great deal and I can try to bring a few provocative thoughts to start discussion, but I would love to hear a groundswell of interest in advance including from content providers.

    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

    suggested by: Dorene Cornwell

  6. How do we consolidate, streamline, and make available collected data, links, and resources such that the online experience of low income, limited resource users is to the greatest extent possible equivalent to a walk-in experience?

    Smart Phones? Web Cams? Skype? Online Databases? Collaborative Online Social Services?

    There are so many ways to get connected and so many different outlets. Why can’t anyone walk into any service here locally if not nationally and get from that outlet an effective, real-time connection to whatever essential resources they may need?

    How can we do a better job of pooling, sharing, tracking, extending and utilizing existing (shared / overlapping – foodbank, housing, shelter, educational, legal, financial assistance, etc) resources via existing or task specific developed technology?

    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    suggested by: Mike Moore

  7. Youth and the Computing Divide: Going beyond literacy and media creation. How can we get youth interested in computing: making video games, mobile apps, etc. How can we get from interest to actual careers in the field?

    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

    suggested by: Peter Gruenbaum

    1. I think that this topic applies to adults as well. What comes after digital literacy? What’s the next step for the adult learner? How can we get the adult learning computer basics to be able to enroll in a Community College tech certificate?

      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      suggested by: Stacey Wedlake

  8. The FCC manages a program called Lifeline, which provides qualified low-income people with discounted (or free) telecommunications services. Prior to 2008, most of the Lifeline benefit provided discounted landlines, but in 2008 the FCC allowed pre-paid mobile companies to provide free cell phones and free monthly minutes to Lifeline recipients. Of course, this took off with consumers, and the two leading providers are now providing handsets and 250 free minutes a month to more than 8 million people. One vendor (Assurance Wireless) also provides 250 free text messages to more than 4 million people. So, 4 million low-income people already have wireless devices and can communicate for free using text messaging. How can we use this opportunity to engage and inform this population, and help them find employment, housing, healthcare, benefits and other things they need? (Springwire’s trying to figure this out!).

    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

    suggested by: Steve Albertson (Springwire)

  9. There are 10-15 million low-income Americans who have email addresses and use them frequently, accessing the Internet from libraries, social service agencies, and their own devices. Social service systems (public agencies and private non-profits) rarely use email to reach this population with routine information that can help or engage them. There are no large, systematic online networks comprised of people in poverty, and this is a huge missed opportunity. I’d like to talk about how we can connect this online-but-disconnected population to the information and resources that can help them rise out of poverty. (We’re doing this at Springwire using email, voice mail, text messaging and social media).

    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

    suggested by: Steve Albertson (Springwire)

  10. Technology for All: How to adapt technology programming for students of all ages.

    We will explore YTech (housed underneath Metrocenter YMCA) and how this organization has adapted their award winning Civic Voice curriculum for youth of all ages. Our exploration will include successful programs created by YTech for elementary, middle and high school students and their most recent work with young adults. We will spend time watching and listening to the various youth produced media from the multiple age brackets.

    Rating: +4 (from 4 votes)

    suggested by: Melissa

  11. What’s At Stake for Closing The Digital Divide: Pathway for Low Income Families to Participate in Public Policy, Access Health Care, and Achieve Workforce Training Skills Online

    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

    suggested by: Suzanne Pak

  12. Title: Free Online Microsoft Technology Courses Coming to Your Local Library Soon!

    A current request of the legislature will place funding in the Washington State Library’s budget so that every public, community college, and tribal library can register people to take technology classes without cost. The prison libraries will also offer these courses free to inmates preparing to re-enter society. The $1.5 million request for the 2013-2015 biennium will yield a $44 million return. This simple concept will make a huge impact on those who are seeking office, business, or technology jobs but lack necessary skills. Certification will also be available but is not covered in the requested funding.

    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)

    suggested by: Rand Simmons, State Librarian

  13. Local Update about Comcast Internet Essentials, the broadband adoption initiative designed to help close the digital divide

    For 16 months, Comcast has offered Internet Essentials, which provides low-cost broadband service for $9.95 a month plus tax; the option to purchase an Internet-ready computer for under $150; and options for digital literacy training, to families where a child receives free- or reduced-price lunch at school. The latest results put both Puget Sound and Washington among the top 10 of both communities and states where low-income families have been able to get Internet access: more than 8,000 families in Western Washington and Spokane County.

    This presentation would discuss local results and strategies, talk about the program improvements announced yesterday, and welcome new ideas for promoting the program and improving digital access and literacy.

    For more about Internet Essentials in Washington State, see

    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

    suggested by: Walter Neary

  14. “I Have a Dream of Hip Hop and Digital Media”. It will include presentaion and interactive discussion on the intersections of race, culture, Hip Hop and Digital Media, bridging the digital divide and the impact of digital exclusion.

    Will include 3 minute version of the documentary film I’m producing on the same subject.

    Rating: +5 (from 5 votes)

    suggested by: Tony Benton

  15. “What are the structural factors that keep the digital divide in place, and how can we change them?”

    It seems like our efforts to address digital inclusion fail to address the “upstream” factors that are the root cause of the digital divide in the first place. What are those factors, and what strategies can we suggest to address them? I believe this must be approached by people who bring both a knowledge of digital literacy, and a background in community organizing and policy work.

    Rating: +9 (from 9 votes)

    suggested by: Marcos Martinez

  16. Digital inclusion efforts for Individuals before being released from prison

    For several years there has been a conscious effort to ensure different community members (the elderly, young people, people with motor/physical/visual impairments, immigrants, etc.) are prepared to participate in a technology driven society. One segment that is not typically represented in digital inclusion discussions is the 15,000+ individuals held in Washington state prisons– over 95 percent of which will reenter our community.
    Despite the fact that a significant portion of incarcerated people suffer from many of the same barriers experienced by other segments of society there does not appear to be a collective effort to increase the chances that incarcerated people leave prison and reenter the community with digital literacy levels that will allow them to effectively engage in society.

    There is many directions this can be taken in. As a starting point let’s talk about:

    • What can be done before these individuals are released
    • What social service agencies are doing after individuals are released
    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)

    suggested by: Lassana Magassa

  17. Digital Inclusion for Lo Income Families – What’s needed, Access (Internet), Hardware (Computers), Content and Training!

    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)

    suggested by: Leo Sosa

  18. Thumbs up to “Teaching digital literacy skills to limited English speakers”!

    Maybe this topic could also include the aspect of socio economic disadvantages for low income residents and students if they are not able to access the internet / technology at home as easily as their peers. School advocates and teachers could reach out to the parents and help these families purchase inexpensive equipment and show them how to access inexpensive internet connection at their homes.

    Rating: +12 (from 12 votes)

    suggested by: Veronica Coenen

  19. Teaching digital literacy skills to limited English speakers
    Comparing strategies and tools for integrated applied tech and esl training. This session would include discussion of using project based inquiry activities (eg How do I look for a job, family recipes, exploring our neighborhood) and how can training respect and include native cultures (in materials, approach, values).

    Rating: +6 (from 6 votes)

    suggested by: David Keyes

  20. Digital Inclusion Partnerships: How do successful DI partnerships form? What defines a successful partnership? How can ISPs, CBOs, government agencies and public institutions best work together to build and sustain successful partnerships?

    Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)

    suggested by: Elly Krumwiede

  21. Digital Inclusion and Workforce Development: How can CBOs, libraries, and employers work together?

    Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)

    suggested by: Stacey Wedlake

    1. Maybe this would be a good panel discussion with telecommuting as one solution.

      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      suggested by: DI Summit

    2. Excellent! Helping Link have been trying to explore way to work with libraries, employers.

      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      suggested by: MD Nguyen

  22. Digital inclusion for telecommuting opportunities – what’s needed, what’s working, the rationale.

    Rating: +3 (from 3 votes)

    suggested by: Rebecca Blakewood

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