THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FROM DIGITAL DIVIDE TO DIGITAL OPPORTUNITY A NATIONAL CALL TO ACTION April 4, 2000
Access to information technology and the Internet and the ability to use this technology effectively are becoming increasingly important to full participation in America's economic, political and social life. While computer and Internet access has exploded in recent years, America faces a 'digital divide'? a gap between those who have access to Information Age tools and the skills to use them and those who don't.
America has an important choice to make: we can allow unequal access to deepen existing divisions along the lines of race, income, education level, geography, and disability -- or we can use technology as a powerful tool to help make the American dream a reality for more people. To help create digital opportunity for more Americans, we must create strong partnerships between government, industry, and the rich mosaic of America's civil society -- including educators, labor unions, librarians, civil rights leaders, faith-based organizations, foundations, volunteers, and community-based organizations.
As companies, non-profit organizations and individuals, we are committed to taking concrete steps to meet two critical national goals: (1) Ensuring Access To 21st Century Learning Tools For Every Child In Every School; and (2) Expanding Digital Opportunity For Every American Family And Community. We pledge to support these two goals.
GOAL ONE: 21st Century Learning Tools for Every Child in Every School For children to succeed, they need to master basic skills at an early age. A critical element of this is the need for information and technological literacy. To help achieve these aims, we must focus on a comprehensive approach to integrating technology into teaching and learning while recognizing that -- as powerful as technology is -- it is no substitute for an inspiring teacher or a loving parent. Together, we must:
GOAL TWO: Digital Opportunity for Every American Family and Community To ensure that no family or community is left behind, we must: