Digital navigators support digital inclusion in a practical way. The digital navigator service model is a comprehensive approach to addressing the digital divide. It includes access to connectivity and digital devices, as well as the digital skills to find information online. The importance of digital inclusion has been underlined during the COVID-19 pandemic as access to employment, education, government benefits, health care and other activities have become more reliant on technology.
What are digital navigators?
“Digital navigators are individuals who address the whole digital inclusion process — home connectivity, devices, and digital skills — with community members through repeated interactions.” – National Digital Inclusion Alliance
The following infographic from Literacy Minnesota outlines the basics (click the image to enlarge):
Digital navigator services have existed in various forms before, including community literacy organizations. Now, the EdTech Center @ World Education, Goodwill Industries International, National Digital Inclusion Alliance and other Digital US partners are making a coordinated effort to formalize this just-in-time virtual delivery model for both digital access as well as learning and upskilling, and at scale.
Keys to success
Digital navigator programs have identified three components as key to closing digital divides. They are discussed in a series of blog posts:
- Digital Navigators: Adaptability Key in Design
- Digital Navigators: Trust Drives Impact
- Digital Navigators: Awareness of Services & Impact
Resources for digital navigators
- Digital Navigator Training Guide – customizable slide deck
- Computer Fundamentals – computer basics
- Digital Navigator Playbook – guide to planning and implementing a program
- Online Basics – search, passwords, email, file management
- Communication – video, texting, social media
- Explore, Apply for Jobs – resume help, job search online
- Community Resources – telehealth, COVID relief, services for seniors
- Being Safe Online – privacy and security, online scams
- Accessibility – assistive technology
The Resource Hub is American; some of the resources will not be relevant for Canadian audiences.
Other Digital Navigator resources from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance include:
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