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Program Overview

Issue at Hand:

Even though Rhode Island’s broadband networks are among the fastest in the U.S., many Rhode Islanders don’t know how to use computers or the Internet.  Thus, limiting them in their ability to empower themselves and take advantage of the opportunities presented only online.

Funding, Implementation, and Timeline

The Digital Literacy Program was part of Broadband Rhode Island (BBRI), an initiative that worked to create new opportunities by expanding broadband use and digital literacy across Rhode Island.  In 2015, the project has been transitioned over to the Rhode Island Adult Education Professional Development Center (RIAEPDC).

During the Fall of 2011, BBRI conducted a pilot of introductory digital literacy classes at select libraries and community organizations. The pilot allowed BBRI and its partners to assess the resources that students, trainers, and organizations need to conduct effective digital literacy training. BBRI also piloted its Instructor Workshop course during this period.

Now live and online, the Digital Literacy Program is focusing on creating and increasing the capacity of all adult education organizations to reach and teach Rhode Islanders who are not online. The Program was funded through January 2015 by the State Broadband Data and Development Grant Program as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Through active engagement of the community and the development of easy-to-use training tools, BBRI expects the network that it has built, coupled with the ongoing efforts of the RIAEPDC to provide the Ocean State with Digital Literacy training for for years to come.

Program Goals

  1. Develop and deliver a basic Internet skills curriculum that can be easily taught, edited, adapted, and supplemented by libraries, adult education agencies, and community organizations.
  2. Develop and implement an Instructor Workshop that prepares digital literacy instructors to deliver the curriculum.
  3. Provide organizations and individuals the resources required to serve interested Rhode Islanders.

The Digital Literacy Tree

To better illustrate the process of empowering Rhode Islanders to become active digital citizens, the “Digital Litteracy Tree” graphic was developed.  It visualizes how non-broadband adopters need to come up through the “base of the trunk” of digital learning by first completing computer and internet basic classes.

Further digital learning can then be selective based on the individuals motivation for crossing the Digital Divide.  This is represented by the upper part of the tree trunk and the branching off into the many “next steps” to becoming digitally empowered:Tree Graphic


Permanent link to this article: http://diglit.riaepdc.org/home/overview/