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RECAP: Devices Task Force Convening | Aug. 3, 2021

Updated: Sep 2

Devices Task Force Objective

Determining types of equipment (standards, device types, ownership model) needed to provide adequate telehealth, remote work, online learning, and small business internet success



Summary

The Devices Task Force held its third meeting on Aug. 3, 2021, and included representatives from multiple sectors interested in resolving the digital divide in Los Angeles County. The task force heard two field stories with promising practices, discussed goal setting, and received an update on the California Public Utilities Commission publication of the draft resolution sent to the commission to approve the funding for the LA DEAL Consortium. The commission will vote on Aug. 19, 2021.



Action Items

  • Email Google document to populate to all task force members


Field Story Presentations


Daniel Rosove, Director of Impact Partners with SoLa Impact, and Teshia Roby, Learning and Research Technologies, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, presented their respective digital equity projects to support families and students with adequate devices.


SoLa Impact presentation highlights: SoLa is an affordable housing developer and has an affiliated nonprofit committed to ending intergenerational poverty. Included in these efforts is a technology campaign for the tenants of SoLa properties. Tenants reported severe internet and technology access gaps needed for distance learning or to access pandemic relief. Launched the 1,000 for 1,000 campaign to provide internet and hotspots to 1,000 South L.A. families. Also launched the SoLa Tech Drive to provide 270 laptops to support distance learning efforts and gaps. Some challenges and solutions emerged:

  • 134 of the 1,000 hotspots devices have not been activated

  • Experienced difficulty handling case management given the high number of cases

  • Network of community partners helping with information dissemination

Future Plans:

  • Will use the entrepreneurship center for youth programming and Adult Literacy Programming that will launch in January 2022.

  • This includes the virtual launch of the Summer School Program of 2020 (15 weeks of programming) with experienced partners from South LA Robotics, the Hidden Genius Project and others.

CalPoly Pomona presented their CPP Laptop Program to support students without internet devices or the campus lab through a purchase program to support students around the clock. The program structure was changed to allow students to own the devices versus the university being the owner. There were two configurations to serve students for four years; basic and advanced (STEM students) built by working closely with Dell. Several payment plans are available to students who purchased computers at the bookstore. The newly structured program extended two and four-year plans that included full warranty, repair, accident repair, and loaner laptops during repair service. The university fundraised to offer additional need-based devices to incoming first-year students.



Discussion


What are the goals of this task force?

  • Have 5-10 final recommendations based on all the challenges

  • Asset map for the LA DEAL website for it to be a one-stop resource tool for practitioners, health providers, and others

  • Survey questions are defined to ask people about telehealth, telework, distance learning

Getting to the final recommendations - considerations:

  • Stop-gap versus success devices

  • The right device for the right use

  • Technology and software

Recommendations for ownership model

  • Sell, loan, lease, free

  • Tech support

Recommendations for distribution/deployment strategies

  • Through school, libraries, partners

  • Within each of these is at public locations, mobile pickup, home delivery



The Devices Task Force meets virtually monthly and includes health, nonprofit, education, business, city municipalities, and internet service providers. To learn more, visit: ladeal.org/events.


Meeting #4 is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2021.



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