Syracuse University, AT&T, the Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), and Tech4Kidz partnered this summer to create Central New York’s first free summer digital literacy and education program designed to address equity issues in technology education and to help local students affected by digital technology. split.
AT&T’s ‘Cuse’ digital experience is designed to encourage more underserved and diverse students to enter the field of technology, an industry that has long faced a pervasive diversity gap.. The program provided more than 120 underrepresented Syracuse City School District students in grades four through eight with the opportunity to gain critical digital literacy and readiness skills through unique technology-focused immersion experiences, while encouraging them to explore educational and career paths in STEM and technology.
Over the course of the program, students learned a wide range of digital literacy skills, including cyber safety, positive uses of social media, analysis of search engine results, computer coding basics, keyboard skills, intelligence artificial, 3D printing disciplines, digital animation, robotics, computer-based design for civil engineering and public space projects, and skills to find real news online.
Students also learned how technology can be used for good and community building by creating solutions and discovering creative uses to address issues affecting youth in the region, such as digital citizenship, at the same time. time they learned the dangers of cyber bullying, cyber scams and the digital footprint issues that hurt. children’s reputation later in life.
“We are grateful to AT&T and our collaborative partners for allowing us to introduce digital citizenship to so many local students. During our time together we were able to learn more about security and how to protect our personal information in the digital world,” says Deborah Nosky, professor of practice in the School of Information Studies. “By expanding students’ understanding and use of digital technologies, students were able to better understand how the skills we learned applied to careers they were already familiar with and new ones they may want to explore.”
“Technology innovates and transforms our world, creating unlimited opportunities for those who know how to unlock their potential. That’s why I’m so excited for the 120 Syracuse City School District students who participated in the first summer AT&T ‘Cuse Digital Experience program. They learned valuable skills that are sure to be the foundation for their future success and the economic prosperity of our community,” says Jennifer Tifft, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Syracuse. “I am deeply grateful to AT&T, the Museum of Science and Technology, Tech4Kidz and Syracuse University for providing such an impactful program for our children. Partnerships like this make it possible to create more inclusive educational and economic opportunities for families of all backgrounds.”
Digital knowledge has become the new literacy and is the engine of all new global technology. With the increasing demand for innovation, organizations from various industries are striving to fill skilled positions. There are projected to be 3.5 million STEM and digital jobs in the US by 2025, underscoring the importance of providing young people with the tools and skills needed to compete in this innovation economy.
The urgency for more diverse tech-skilled employees is underscored by the low percentage of diversity in the makeup of the tech industry. This alarming lack of diversity in the tech industry and the growing STEM job market underscores the importance of bringing programming like the AT&T ‘Cuse Digital Experience to youth of all backgrounds and economic situations.
“It has been a pleasure teaching and learning from these energetic local students about technology and digital citizenship. Thanks to AT&T for making it happen,” says Laurie Ferger, professor of teaching in the School of Information Studies.
The free program was made possible by financial support and programming collaboration from AT&T as part of the company’s $2 billion national commitment from 2021 to 2023 to help bridge the digital and homework divide.
“It has been an honor to collaborate with MOST, Tech4Kidz and Syracuse University to bring this innovative experience to these students as it further enhances our commitment to providing resources for digital literacy educational programming around the world and builds on our vigorous efforts to bridge the diversity gap. in the technology industry,” says Kevin Hanna, director of external affairs for AT&T. “I am so impressed by these remarkable students and proud of their determination throughout the summer working hard to acquire critical digital literacy skills, they all have great futures ahead of them.”