NY State Library and Education Department Announce Series of Webinars Focused on Digital Equity

The New York State Library and State Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Council and the Northern New York Library Network, are offering a series of webinars on Digital Equity beginning September 10th to provide information on the challenges to digital equity and how we can work together to achieve digital equity for all New Yorkers.

“The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the inequities that run throughout our education system,” said Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa.  “The ‘digital divide’ is real, and it is devastating. Students simply cannot participate in remote learning if they don’t have access to a computer and to the internet, which is why these discussions are critically important right now.”

Digital equity is the concept that every New Yorker has access to affordable broadband, adequate devices, necessary software,  and digital literacy skills, Persistent digital divides exist in communities -- urban, suburban, and rural -- across New York. In fact, according to a report by Common Sense Media, more than 25 percent of students in New York lack access to the Internet and/or appropriate devices to participate in remote online education. The challenges to student connectivity can’t be considered in isolation, since they are part of larger systemic inequities disproportionately affecting people of color and people with lower incomes.