New York State Library
Digital Equity Webinar Series

Digital equity is a complex set of conditions that requires that every New Yorker has access to affordable broadband, adequate devices, necessary software, digital literacy skills, and a community of support.

Persistent digital divides exist in communities -- urban, suburban, and rural -- across New York; in fact, more than 25% 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.

This webinar series is intended to bring together stakeholders from across sectors to:

  • establish an understanding of the challenges to digital equity and
  • develop a shared vision of how we can work together to achieve digital equity in New York.

The series is organized by the New York State Library and the New York State Education Department, in partnership with the METRO Library Councilexternal link icon and the Northern New York Library Networkexternal link icon.

Scheduled Events:

Metro Library Council, the Zoom host for these webinars, will be recording the sessions and making them available via YouTube. Links will be added to the table below as the archived sessions become available.

Thursday, September 10,
2-3 pm

Understanding Digital Inclusion and Digital Equity

Presenter Francella Ochillo, Executive Director of Next Century Citiesexternal link icon, described the need for long-term solutions for local connectivity.

Thursday, September 24,
2-3 pm

Digital Bridge K-12 Initiative: Assessing Home Access Needs

Presenters Grace Ting and Ellen Goldich introduced the Digital Bridge K-12 Home Access Needs Assessment Playbooketxernal link icon, a free step-by-step guide to help schools/school districts identify students who lack home digital access.

October 1,
2-3 pm

Affordable Telephone and Internet Resources During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Presenter Sam Faduski from the The Public Utility Law Projectexternal link icon, provided an overview of the Lifeline low-income discount telephone program and low-income internet programs, also reviewing changes to these programs in light of the COVID-19 health pandemic.

October 8,
2-3:30 pm

Building Community Broadband Networks

Presented by Greta Byrum of Community Tech NYexternal link icon and Sharon Akkoul of NYSERNet, with speakers from The Point CDCexternal link icon and the Bronx Community Relief Effortexternal link icon, the Kingston Equitable Internet Initiativeexternal link icon, and the Buffalo Digital Divide Initiative, this webinar will demonstate how three unique communities are building broadband ecosystems their own way.

October 22,
3:30-4:30 pm

Using Digital Navigators to Bridge Social Divides

Presented by National Digital Inclusion Allianceexternal link icon, this webinar will show how different affiliates are putting the Digital Navigator Model into action to add more digital equity to our social safety net and community institutions. Speakers include: Sabrina Roach and Paolo Balboa from NDIA; Shauna Edson and Justin Strange, from the Salt Lake City Public Library's Digital Navigator project; and Margaret (Meg) Käufer, of the STEM Alliance of Larchmont-Mamaroneck.

October 29,
2-3 pm

Starting Your Own Digital Inclusion Coalition

Presented by Scott Kushner, Director of LaFayette Public Library, and Annabeth Hayes, Director of Tully Free Library, founders of the Central New York Digital Inclusion Coalitionexternal link icon; and Stacey Martin, Digital Inclusion Coordinator at Finger Lakes Digital Inclusion Coalitionexternal link icon. This program will interview members of newly formed coalitions, explore establishing and sustaining a coalition, and address the real work happening right now.

November 12,
2-3 pm

Capitalizing on OER for Equity in PK-12: Finding and Using Open Teaching and Learning Resources

Presented by Shawna M. Brandle, Associate Professor of Political Science, at Kingsborough Community College, Stacy Katz, Assistant Professor, Library, Lehman College, Jennifer Van Allen, Assistant Professor of Literacy Education, Lehman College, Nicole Williams, Instructor, Library, Bronx Community College. This webinar will introduce Open Educational Resources (OER) and how to customize these learning materials for students' diverse needs.

November 19,
2-3 pm

CanCode: Virtual Digital Literacy For All

Presented by Annmarie Lanesey of AlbanyCanCode, this webinar will introduce CanCode's Virtual Digital Literacy program which is designed to create a bridge for underserved populations to take their first steps towards careers in technology.

December 3,
2-3 pm

Broader than Broadband: Brooklyn Public Library’s Digital Equity Strategy

Presented by Nick Higgins, Selvon Smith, Maya Wagoner, and David Giles from the Brooklyn Public Library.

Join us for a conversation to discuss practical digital equity interventions and how they fit into a broader digital equity strategy that positions libraries on the front lines of universal access to knowledge and information.

December 10,
2-3 pm
Addressing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning

Join Tali Horowitz and Amina Fazlullah of Common Sense to hear about the latest research on the current digital divide, and what steps educators and policymakers can take to ensure students have both the access and the digital literacy skills to leverage technology for learning and life, including information about Common Sense’s K-12 Digital Citizenship Program and Wide Open School.


Last Updated: January 4, 2021