School Board of Miami-Dade County

Miami-Dade County Public Schools-Get Connected-Go Global-Sustainable Broadband Adoption Program

The Miami-Dade County Public Schools-Get Connected-Go Global project proposes to increase broadband adoption among low-income middle school students and their families by providing training, discounted computers, Internet service, and awareness campaigns targeting vulnerable communities. Miami-Dade County recently introduced a student/parent portal to enable parents to monitor their children’s academic progress and communicate more easily with their teachers and schools. To ensure all families can utilize the tool, in 35 schools with the highest need, the project plans to offer 60,000 hours of computer training to 30,000 students and their parents, provide low-cost refurbished laptops to 6,000 students and their families, and offer discounted Internet service to 10,000 families. A county-wide, bilingual print, broadcast, and online campaign intends to reach 700,000 residents and build awareness of the educational, job, and health benefits of being connected to broadband technology. The project expects to increase broadband adoption by an estimated 15,000 households, and plans to track adoption rates over time using focus groups, a teacher-parent online portal, surveys, and feedback from broadband providers.

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BTOP In Action
A family picks up its free desktop provided by LINK

The School Board of Miami-Dade County launched the Learn Ideas, Navigate Knowledge (LINK) program in 35 low-income elementary, middle, and high schools across the Miami-Dade County Public Schools district. This program promotes broadband adoption among economically distressed populations by providing the necessary training and equipment to students and their families. The school board partners with non- and for-profit organizations to provide computers, Internet service, and multilingual digital literacy training to participating families.
The LINK program created an Introduction to Computers class through its partnership with The Parent Academy. Through this class, participants learn computer basics, Internet fundamentals, and how to use LINK’s Parent Portal. Once completed, participating families receive a free personal computer and access to its Parent Portal, an online tool that allows parents to view students’ grades and keep in contact with teachers. Additionally, a video of the Introduction to Computers class, available in English, Spanish, and Creole, is pre-loaded onto each computer along with anti-virus and word-processing software.
As of July 2011, BTOP funds have helped the school board distribute computers and provide Internet service to more than 2,400 families. Additionally, BTOP funding has allowed the program to employ instructors from The Parent Academy for its Introduction to Computers class. By the end of the project, the LINK program is expected to provide computers and Internet access to approximately 6,000 households.

Last Updated: October 18, 2011

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