October 21, 2016
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Underserved Children Flourish In Media Program

ATLANTA, GA – The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), the leading voice for affordable broadband deployment in underserved communities, has successfully completed its first year in partnership with the Learning Without Walls program (LearningWOW), an initiative aimed at enhancing student performance, literacy, and self-esteem through the use of broadband technologies.  As a result of this partnership, LearningWOW students flourished both inside and outside of the classroom, proving that access to mobile broadband services is critical for students to achieve their maximum potential.
One of ADE’s implementations of LearningWOW is at North Clayton Middle School (Clayton County Public Schools) outside of Atlanta, GA.  There were several notable impacts on students’ achievement this past school year.
  • LearningWOW Female Academy students had higher average Georgia CRCT scale scores than the district (reading, English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and social studies) and in the state (reading, English Language Arts, science, and social studies).
  • LearningWOW Male Academy students surpassed the district in English Language Arts.
  • LearningWOW students also had higher average scale scores than a comparison group of male and female academy students (no laptops) on all five content area tests.
  • LearningWOW students’ 9-weeks grades for all content areas were also collected and compared with the 9-weeks grades for the Non-LearningWOW Male and Female Academy students. The LearningWOW Female Academy students had consistently higher averages in ELA, social studies, and science; and the LearningWOW Male Academy students had higher averages in mathematics. 
  • The LearningWOW male students had the best attendance rate in the school, 98%!

“The ADE is grateful for the participation and support of AT&T and Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative.  The success we have achieved through this partnership clearly demonstrates what can happen when we deliver real-time solutions to communities who have far less than adequate access to mainstream broadband technology — in this case, public school students and their families based in one of the nation's most academically challenged school districts," said Alliance for Digital Equality Chairman Julius H. Hollis.  “We believe that providing access to broadband technology will enhance the ability of these students to meet the challenges of the 21st Century, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results that we are seeing in these truly talented students.”

"Qualcomm  is very proud to collaborate with AT&T and the ADE through our Wireless Reach initiative to help end digital illiteracy,” said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, chairman and CEO of Qualcomm.  “To see these exceptional students thrive as a result of this project reinforces our view that mobile broadband can aid in improving academic achievement.”

The LearningWOW initiative in Clayton County, GA provided students with laptop computers enabled with Internet connectivity to extend access to the home.  Teachers received formal coaching to incorporate technology into lesson plans.  This one-to-one initiative focused on project based learning.  Students were able to collaborate online with each other and with their teachers.  Imagine students blogging daily about math.  The blog became a tool for the teacher to know what to do the next day (review the lesson, move to the next lesson, or repeat the lesson).

“The entire North Clayton Middle School community is thrilled to be part of this innovative program to bring students the one-to-one instructional support they need to achieve their academic goals and lay the foundation for a successful learning experience,” said Monika Wiley, principal of North Clayton Middle School.  “We look forward to continuing to work with ADE and continued success through the LearningWOW program.”

The LearningWOW program made tremendous accomplishments in its first year with positive data based research from an independent report, great student performance on Georgia’s CRCT and positive student satisfaction and engagement.  ADE is moving forward to secure public and private funding to expand the program.  Additionally, a second school will participate this school year and experiment at a lower grade (4th) level.  This first year has encouraged the ADE to continue to replicate this program in more schools in the state of Georgia and nationally. 

About The Alliance for Digital Equality - The Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE) is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization that serves to facilitate and ensure equal access to technology in underserved communities.  The ADE also serves as a bridge between policymakers and minority individuals in order to help the public understand how legislative and regulatory policies regarding new technologies can impact and empower their daily lives.  


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