Digital Literacy and Access
Digital literacy is the ability to use the latest information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information requiring both cognitive and technical skills. Libraries are offering:
- Public access to computers
- Computer classes
- Technology clubs
- E-reader help
and much more.
Of course we offer regular, continuing education technology training for library staff here at the State Library. We also have useful materials developed as part of our Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant. Visit our Mobile Computer Lab program page for ready-to-use computer training presentations, lesson plans, and student resources that you can use for classes at your library.
Here are some national initiatives promoting digital access and literacy to be aware of, as well.
Connect2Compete (C2C) is a national nonprofit organization bringing together leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading foundations. C2C aims to increase the use of technology and digital skills - abilities that are necessary to ensure future generations can compete in the global economy.
- free digital literacy training
- discounted high-speed Internet for the underserved
- low-cost computers for those in need
How can your library participate? Libraries can join in by adding their information to the Connect2Compete/EveryoneOn training locator database. The database lists free, local technology training and services that libraries and other agencies have available. To learn more about the project, visit the Connect2Compete website.
EveryoneOn represents a very important 3-year national digital literacy outreach campaign powered by Connect2Compete. The campaign promotes the the importance of digital literacy skills, and the availability of free training at libraries and other community agencies around the country.
The campaign kicks off on March 21, 2013. Get all the details here, and learn how your library can participate, add your library to the training locator database, and promote your local computer classes and Internet access.
DigitalLearn.org is a new tool and resource for digital literacy support. The Public Library Association’s new site is an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant-funded project to create an online hub for digital literacy support and training.
The site is launching in June of 2013, and is intended to build upon and foster the work of libraries and community organizations as they work to increase digital literacy across the nation. Included in DigitalLearn.org will be a collection of self-directed tutorials for end-users to increase their digital literacy and a community of practice for digital literacy trainers to share tools and best practices.
The Edge Initiative represents the first-ever set of benchmarks for public access technology in public libraries.
Edge will help library leaders:
- assess the public computers in their libraries and how they are being used
- identify ways to strengthen or enhance public technology and technology training
- communicate with key stakeholders on the value of the library's computers for supporting workforce development, the educational needs of students, and more
Questions about Edge in Texas? Contact Jennifer Peters from the State Library at firstname.lastname@example.org, 512-463-2214, or 800-252-9386 (toll-free to Texas).