Foundation Helps Reduce the Digital Divide

The Ohana Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in response to a national call for universal access to the Internet and other technologies in education. It aims to introduce cost-effective, non-PC-based technologies into American schools, helping to ensure that all students, teachers and parents have access to the Internet and educational software, regardless of economic or geographic situation.


Due to the high cost of personal computers, the foundation’s initial focus is on adapting non-PC based technology, such as DVD appliances, to classroom settings. DVD technology allows for classroom interactivity, with attached keyboards allowing users to retrieve text, graphics, video and audio files almost instantly. The foundation will use the Vialta system, which consists of an Internet appliance that can be connected to a standard television or monitor, and can be viewed by an entire classroom or an individual.


Additional communications software will allow students, teachers and parents to communicate on the Internet through the Vialta system. To accomplish its educational mission, the foundation relies on educator input, publishing partnerships, content development, teacher training, and funding assistance from state-level bonds, federal grants, corporate sponsors, and private foundations. The Ohana Foundation, Cupertino, CA, (808) 524-0770,

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.