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Recent News // News Release: Connected Nation Releases New Training Platform to Boost Digital Learning

Thursday, May 08, 2014

‘Drive’ Portal Unveiled at SHLB Conference in DC

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WASHINGTON, DC – This week during the SHLB Coalition's 2014 Annual Conference Connected Nation is promoting the launch of its new digital learning platform called Drive: Your Digital Learning Hub. The Drive learning platform is aimed at closing the digital literacy gap that still persists in the United States by providing community anchor institutions and trainers with an easy-to-use platform for digital training.

“Connected Nation’s broadband adoption programs have proven to be extremely effective, and the latest surveys show our states outpace the national average in broadband adoption,” said Connected Nation President Tom Ferree. “However, there is still a severe skills gap in our country keeping a large population from fully functioning in this interconnected world. We are proud to release this new platform designed for libraries, workforce development agencies, and community anchor institutions that are in a position to provide digital training to vulnerable populations.”

According to the FCC, 66 million people in the U.S. lack basic digital literacy skills. In addition, 12 percent of people who do not adopt broadband say that a lack of digital literacy skills is the main reason they do not subscribe to broadband.

As online training gains momentum with sweeping changes in the way people learn, Connected Nation created Drive to be an easy, self-paced solution for learners. Drive is an innovative online learning platform that allows Connected Nation and other training partners to deliver basic and advanced technology training to vulnerable populations. Additionally, this platform will support the learning process by providing tools that allow individualized student plan development, student and progress tracking, assessments, and rewarding achievements (certification and badging).

Drive provides trainers a platform to generously share their knowledge and experience with learners all over the country who desire a better future in this digital world.

“Distance learning is the most scalable solution and the most underutilized in our nation’s training toolbox. Twenty-first century learning tools are imperative for both learners and teachers or consumers and producers all the time. Thus, learning management tools like the Drive learning hub are places where everyone can learn or mentor others with recognition,” said Frank Odasz, a board member from the Rural Telecommunications Congress and president of Lone Eagle Consulting, that has specialized in rural, remote, and indigenous Internet learning since 1997. 

Drive Receives High Praise from Users in the Pilot Program:

Richard Bauman is using the courses available in Drive to boost his job skills. “I have been using the Drive hub for more than one month and really appreciate the opportunity to learn new skills such as Basic Programming. It is a great training tool that I will continue to use to learn new ways to use my computer,” he said.

 “The Drive portal was a very beneficial tool for me as I progressed through the coursework. One of the best features of the Drive portal is that it housed all of our classes in one convenient location. This reduced the amount of time spent searching for web addresses. Also, I enjoyed the fact that the Drive portal tracked my progress, which helped to create a sense of accomplishment,” said Richard (Bryan) Hinkle.

“The Drive portal is educational and challenging. I have benefited a lot from using the portal. It has allowed me to obtain learning skills that are truly wonderful! I will be sure to tell all my friends about it,” said Amanda Arnett.

For more information about Drive, contact Heather Gate, manager of Digital Literacy Program Development for Connected Nation, at 877-846-7710 or [email protected]. Test it out:

Download the Press Release

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About Drive: Drive: Your Digital Learning Hub is a training platform designed to give libraries and training organizations a tool that is customizable and easy to use for self-paced or guided instruction. Librarians and volunteers can manage their own content, students, and reports within the site. It is loaded with courses and will support the learning process by providing tools that allow individualized student plan development, mentoring, reporting, assessing, and rewarding achievement (certification and badging).

About Connected Nation: Connected Nation is a leading technology organization committed to bringing affordable high-speed Internet and broadband-enabled resources to all Americans. Connected Nation effectively raises the awareness of the value of broadband and related technologies by developing coalitions of influencers and enablers for improving technology access, adoption, and use. Connected Nation works with consumers, community leaders, states, and technology providers and foundations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to develop and implement technology expansion programs with core competencies centered on a mission to improve digital inclusion for people and places previously underserved or overlooked. For more information, please visit:

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