Connected Foundations (CF) was designed to increase the postsecondary readiness of NYC high school students and to help narrow the digital divide by boosting their access to and use of broadband Internet. Participating schools used the program to increase family involvement in schools, expand the use of blended instruction in the classroom, and enable online learning during after school hours. Upon successful completion of a Connected Foundations course, students received a free netbook computer and were eligible to purchase discounted high-speed Internet service for their homes.2011-2013: A Look BackCF launched in July 2011 with a single course, DIG/IT (“dig it”)—short for “Digital Literacies”—that was piloted in four New York City transfer schools, which are small, academically rigorous, full-time high schools designed to re-engage students who are behind in high school credits, or have returned to complete their education after dropping out. The focus of DIG/IT was on postsecondary planning, including college and career explorations, personal financial literacy, and using the Internet for academic and professional purposes.
The program quickly expanded into additional transfer schools and, in its second year, was introduced to Young Adult Borough Centers, schools participating in the Expanded Success Initiative, and iLearn lab sites, eventually 69 schools throughout the five boroughs. Subject matter offerings multiplied as well to include nine core content courses -- all aligned with the NYS Learning Standards as well as the NYC Department of Education’s Citywide Instructional Expectations.
By the Numbers • Schools Served: 69 • Student Served: 5,160 • Instructional Hours Completed: 278640 • Quests Completed: 142,743 • Teachers Trained: 215 • Families that Adopted Home Broadband: 2,219 What’s AheadIn September 2013, some 1,600 students from [28 schools] enrolled in CF courses that encourage personalized instruction and mastery-based learning.As CF winds down its work with NYC schools, the team thanks everyone—students, families, teachers, principals, and partners—for contributing to the success of the program. Program Partners Connected Foundations was funded by an $8.5 million broadband stimulus grant from the US Department of Commerce and administered by NYC's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) and Department of Education (DOE). Connected Foundations program partners include: • NYC Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Readiness • NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications • US Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration • CFY • LearningTimes, LLC • ReLearning Curve • Teaching Matters • Cablevision • Time Warner Cable