UCLA and SBC Pacific Bell Launch New Multimedia Literacy Web Site

October 3, 2002

The initiative is the outcome of a $1 million gift from SBC Pacific Bell to UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. The donation is intended to allow students and educators to explore the meaning of literacy in an age of rapidly changing technologies and growing diversity.

“This new site incorporates a variety of tools cutting across several important literacy areas, so educators and librarians can assist young people in acquiring the skills essential in the Information Age,” said Bob Campbell, SBC Pacific Bell vice president, public sector. “We are very proud to be involved in the development of this project. It represents our long-standing commitment to education.”

“The rapid growth of technology in the classroom, library and workplace demands enhanced skill sets in order to take full advantage of these new opportunities,” said Aimee Dorr, dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. “Teaming with SBC Pacific Bell, we have created a site where educators, librarians and parents can find the resources and tools needed to address multiple literacies with children and teens.”

“21st-century literacies” refers to the skills needed to flourish in the world both today and tomorrow. As information flows in ever-greater abundance — often unmediated across technologies, languages and cultures — the ability to define an information need, access and evaluate resources, use information effectively, and produce multimedia content is critical for full participation in society. Likewise, understanding how socioeconomic and cultural forces shape content, form and delivery empowers young people to think critically and independently.

Recognizing that a combination of literacies will best serve K-12 students and adult learners in today’s high-tech, diverse world, the SBC Knowledge Network Explorer 21st-Century Literacies Web site focuses on four 21st-century literacies — information, media, multicultural and visual — by offering:

· a conceptual orientation to 21st-century literacies

· bibliographic and Web-based resources

· more than 30 Web-accessible K-12 lesson plans

· a planning guide to assist educators in embedding 21st-century literacy principles into lessons they develop across grade levels and content areas.

The Web site was developed by a team of literacy experts from UCLA, SBC Pacific Bell and the New York City-based Center for Children and Technology, a division of the Education Development Center network. The site was also reviewed by a cohort of Los Angeles Unified School District teachers and library media teachers.

The Pacific Bell/UCLA Initiative was well positioned to develop this Web site by drawing on several strengths. A nationally recognized leader in educational reform efforts and information literacy issues, the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (

www.gseis.ucla.edu is the only major research university in the country that combines the Departments of Education and Information Studies. The school offers top-ranked professional and academic degree programs, houses an on-campus laboratory school, and is engaged with the broader community through extensive outreach programs, all of which offer opportunities to explore and demonstrate model 21st-century literacy programs. The laboratory school, Seeds University Elementary School (UES), models good information-literacy practice through their Managing Information in a Digital Age curriculum and provides a test-bed for further development.

SBC Communications Inc. (www.sbc.com/) is a global communications leader. Through its subsidiaries’ brands — Pacific Bell, Southwestern Bell, Ameritech, SBC Telecom, Nevada Bell, SNET and Cellular One — and extensive network, SBC’s subsidiaries provide local and long-distance phone service, wireless and data communications, paging, high-speed Internet access and messaging, cable and satellite television, security services and telecommunications equipment, as well as directory advertising and publishing. In the United States, the company currently has 61.2 million access lines and 12.2 million wireless customers and is undertaking a national expansion program that will bring SBC service to an additional 30 markets. Internationally, SBC has telecommunications investments in more than 20 countries. With approximately 185,000 employees, SBC is the 13th-largest employer in the United States, with annual revenues that rank it among the largest Fortune 500 companies.

Further information about the Pacific Bell/UCLA Initiative for 21st-Century Literacies is available at



Shaena Engle


Phone: 310-206-5951