[ONLINE] - Learning at Home While Under-Connected

A Forum to Discuss New Survey Data and Lessons for the Next School Year

UPDATE as of 6/28/21: See our recap of this event.

Getting children back to school in September provides an unprecedented opportunity to do better by lower-income families—those who have borne the brunt of the impact of school building closures for more than a year and have been hardest hit by the health and economic crises of the pandemic. A new report, Learning at Home While Under-Connected: Lower-Income Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic, follows up on 2016's Opportunity for All? Technology and Learning in Lower-Income Families, to uncover the perspectives of lower-income parents with children ages 3 to 13. The report delves into their experiences learning at home, what they discovered about their children's learning needs, and their priorities for the future. It provides timely, pointed, and thought-provoking insights on the challenges of being under-connected when trying to support young students at home without adequate devices and internet connections. Based on a telephone survey of more than 1,000 parents, the report also includes quotes and links to briefs from discussions with nearly three dozen lower-income parents in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and in Santa Clara County, CA.

Join us for a national forum to unveil these findings and discuss how to act on this data to better support families, schools, and community-based organizations in the coming months. Conversation will include new ideas for applying funding from the American Rescue Plan and new initiatives such as the Emergency Broadband Benefit.

Follow the conversation @NewAmericaEd and via #underconnected on Twitter.


12:00 pm: Welcome & Framing

  • Lisa Guernsey, Director of Teaching, Learning & Tech, New America

12:05 pm: Video Collage: Parents’ and Students’ Reflections

  • Makeda Mays Green, Vice President, Nickelodeon

12:10 pm: Findings from the Report

  • Vikki Katz, Professor, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University
  • Victoria Rideout, Founder and President, VJR Consulting

12:25 pm: Keynote

  • Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chair of the Federal Communications Commission

12:35 pm: Panel: Implications of the Findings

  • Sam Liccardo, Mayor of San Jose 
  • Christopher Rush, Sr. Advisor for Innovation & Director of Educational Technology, U.S. Department of Education
  • Jean-Claude Brizard, President and CEO, Digital Promise 
  • Amy Huffman, Director, Policy, National Digital Inclusion Alliance
  • Anya Kamenetz, NPR (moderator)

1:05 pm: Panel: Insights from Parents, Families, and Local Initiatives 

  • Yolie Flores, Founder, Parent Nation (unable to attend)
  • Adrián A. Pedroza, National Director of Strategic Partnerships, Abriendo Puertas 
  • Cindy Eggleton, Co-Founder and CEO, Brilliant Detroit 
  • Janice Myers, Grandparent, Pittsburgh 
  • Javeria Salman, Hechinger Report (moderator)

1:35 pm: Calls to Action

  • Michael Levine, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon (Noggin)
  • Michelle Sioson Hyman, Senior Vice President, Raising A Reader
  • Amir Nasr, Policy Analyst, and Michael Calabrese, Director of the Wireless Future Project, Open Technology Institute, New America

1:45 pm: Conclude

The research study and event forum are generously supported by: Noggin, Overdeck Family Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Grable Foundation and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and by our partners Raising A Reader, Tech Play Collaborative, Brilliant Detroit, Reading Ready Pittsburgh, Grail Family Services, and FIRST 5 Santa Clara County.