Governor Issues Executive Order Supporting Digital Literacy Efforts in California

Executive Order S-06-09 is calling attention to and supporting the need for Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) Digital Literacy in California. The order stated that ICT Digital Literacy “is a defining component of California’s competitiveness for a knowledge-based economy and is growing in importance to attract capital investment that will generate higher quality jobs.”

The order pointed out some compelling statistics about the state of digital literacy, something that many of us take for granted.

Less than half of Latinos (48%) have home computers, compared with about 86% for Whites, 84% for Asians, and 79% for Blacks.

Only 40% of Latinos have Internet access, and only 34% of Latinos have broadband connections at home, while majorities of other racial or ethnic groups have both Internet access and broadband connections.

Only 32% of Californians are very confident about using the Internet.

More than 56% of parents indicate that they visit their children’s school websites, but only 30% of those with household incomes under $40,000 indicate doing so, as compared to 84% of those with incomes of $80,000 or more.

More than 62% of Californians indicate a concern that lower-income areas are less likely than others to have access to broadband Internet technology.

There is a disparity among ethnic/racial groups, income levels, and regions when comparing rates of computer ownership, Internet access, and broadband connections at home.

A majority of residents express concern that Californians in lower-income areas and rural areas have less access to broadband Internet technology than others.

There are indications that since 2000, computer use has grown among whites (79% to 85%) and blacks (76% to 83%), as has Internet use (70% to 81% for whites, 60% to 82% for blacks), but among Latinos, computer use has declined (64% to 58%) and Internet use is unchanged (47% to 48%), while Asians have seen declines in both their use of computers (91% to 81%) and the Internet (84% to 80%).