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CONVERGE | Community

Keeping Your Kids Connected: The Importance of Digital Literacy

For many parents, just equipping kids with pencils and a new backpack can be a struggle. But these days, kids need certain tools to compete in an increasingly tech-centric world. That means computers, mobile devices and the Internet. For struggling parents, those much-needed tools can seem hopelessly out of reach.

Cox Communications is helping to change that. The cable, phone and Internet provider recently launched Cox Digital Academy, which, along with Cox’s Connect2Compete program, are putting computers, free online educational resources and low-cost Internet within reach of kids and their families who might otherwise see their skills fall behind.

The Cox Digital Academy is a Web portal that offers training videos, modules, and tips and tools on topics ranging from setting up and using email and search engines to the ins and outs of financial literacy and identity protection. It also features literacy programs, tutorials and games. The Digital Academy represents another step in the Cox Communications campaign to provide all children and their families with greater access to crucial information technology — and the know-how to use it.

Not only is Cox working on deleting the digital divide with the Digital Academy — since 2004, Cox has created no fewer than 100 Technology Centers at Boys & Girls Clubs of America clubhouses across the country. And since 2012, Cox’s Connect2Compete program has helped bring Internet access and online training to disadvantaged communities.

Building on these successes, Cox has expanded its efforts to keep low-income families on track educationally with the creation of the Digital Academy. The website is free for children and their families to use and offers a range of tutorials and videos on topics ranging from Computer and Internet Basics to Educational Resources to Financial Wellness. In addition, the Digital Academy offers links and information related to free educational games.

The Internet can be an unwieldy, bewildering space, and the Digital Academy is designed to offer a much-needed guiding light.

To help as many families as possible, Cox Digital Academy has joined forces with several partners: technology safety nonprofit Common Sense, education technology company EVERFI and professional librarians group the Public Library Association.

The partnership allows the Digital Academy to offer a greater range of age-appropriate online tools, from training tutorials to videos to games, as well as related content useful for users of all ages in a household. For example, younger users learn how to conduct Web searches, create email accounts and navigate search engines. Older kids learn to make resumes, navigate job search engines and manage an online budget.

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