Connected Nation’s Digital Literacy and Learning Program, powered by AT&T – where are we now?
Butler, Pennsylvania (August 28, 2023) - For the past year, Connected Nation has worked diligently to provide digital skills training to individuals nationwide through our Digital Literacy and Learning Program. Our staff is proud to have taught content developed by AT&T and the Public Library Association on topics including: computer basics, internet basics, email basics, mobile device basics, cybersecurity, and videoconferencing.
Connected Nation has partnered with local libraries, public housing organizations, nonprofits, colleges, and universities to bring these crucial technical skills to the people who need them most. Workshops were taught in person and virtually in English and Spanish, and were held in both cities and rural areas.
From the onset of this initiative, the team at Connected Nation has not only considered these workshops to be an essential part of our programming, but also a labor of love. With miles of travel across state lines, we are committed to equipping people all over the country with the confidence to navigate today’s digital world.
Looking at where this program started less than a year ago to where it is now, it's exciting to share some quick statistics on what has been accomplished:
· Classes taught – 267
· People trained – 1,677
· Organizations engaged – 96
· States visited – 21
· Connected Nation staff who taught classes – 10
However, the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Each of our trainers have collected inspiring stories about the people they have met along the way — people they have truly helped. Below are some accounts from the staff at Connected Nation who have been in the field, providing these trainings over the last year.
“As I reflect on my time spent delivering digital skills basics workshops, the clearest theme that has emerged for me is gratitude for taking the time to answer technology questions and build confidence that everyone can participate in a digital society. Patience is key! If participating in the Digital Literacy and Learning workshops plants one seed that can grow into curiosity and a sense of accomplishment, then it's time well spent for everyone. When we host multi-day events, there is no greater reward than a learner returning the next day with more questions and a willingness to explore additional topics.”
Melissa Anderson, Digital Inclusion Specialist, who taught classes in Texas, Michigan, and virtually nationwide.
“Providing training for the Digital Literacy and Learning Program, powered by AT&T, is and has been a rewarding experience. In every group of students, there is a mix of knowledge and capabilities. Whether it's understanding computer basics, tips on searching the internet, teaching people strategies to create good passwords, or securing their mobile devices, it has been easy to connect with students and help them find personalized ways that the training impacts their lives.”
Wes Kerr, Director Community Solutions, who taught classes in Kentucky.
“A student named Derek arrived at the scheduled, over-the-shoulder training with a Fidelity advertisement he had received in the mail. His initial questions centered on whether this is a good deal — is $50/month for 1 GB expensive, and what does that mean? Derek and I reviewed the offer's details and how he specifically saw himself using his new home information highway! He said, ‘I want to watch the videos I need for my new job from home instead of traveling to the library, and more than anything, I want to be able to watch football.’ Like many older individuals, Derek lives on a fixed income, so accruing additional monthly expenses can be challenging. The conversation then turned to exploring options to assist with the financial burden, which landed on the topic of the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Within 30 minutes, we successfully enrolled Derek in the ACP program, and he had scheduled his home fiber installation to occur three days later. Derek was so appreciative and relieved that between the ACP program and Fidelity's low-rate plans, his home internet access would be wholly covered at 100%. The smile on his face as he thought about college football season kicking off and the relief I heard in his voice was so rewarding.”
Michelle Currier, Broadband Solutions Manager, who taught classes in Lawton, Oklahoma.
The Digital Literacy and Learning Program, powered by AT&T continues to impact communities across the country. The recent addition of job fairs to some of the workshops has already helped five individuals secure jobs. The program is improving lives, and Connected Nation is honored to be a part of it. Interested in bringing the Digital Literacy and Learning Program to your community? Visit: https://connectednation.org/programs/digital-literacy-learning to learn more.
The below photo's are from past DLL workshops: