The Digital Navigator services model was designed by the Digital US Coalition in 2019 and then adapted and scaled through partners such as National Digital Inclusion Alliance and World Education to address both digital access as well as learning and upskilling, and at scale. Its goal is to ensure individuals receive on-demand tech support and relevant information to secure connectivity and devices, as supports for foundational digital skill development to for meeting their personal goals, whether for further learning, job training, community and family engagement, or more. This is done through much-needed just-in-time, one-to-one and small group dedicated support via phone service, email, text, video chat, in-person (if possible), and other communication methods that work for the learner-worker. This comprehensive approach addresses multiple layers of becoming digitally included.
Design and Implementation Resources:
The Digital Navigator services model offers flexibility not only in terms of where, how, and when services are offered but also in regards to who provides the service. Digital Navigators can be trained and dedicated staff, or people for whom it is just a component of their job as a part of their work in health and education, or volunteers that help learner-workers to secure affordable internet access, devices, and foundational training so learner-workers can meet their personal and career goals. Digital navigator services can be offered at drop-in locations or by phone or virtual conferencing, but are often most effective when embedded into existing services through organizations participants already trust and at convenient locations. Services offered by peer digital navigators also help ensure trust and language and cultural competencies in service delivery.
“Digital inclusion efforts require coordinated and intentional efforts to reduce and eliminate historical, institutional, and structural barriers,” says Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance.
With funding from Walmart, the EdTech Center @ World Education collaborated with Digital US Coalition partners to design and scale “digital navigator” services; coordinate pilots to demonstrate impact and replicability; and develop training materials, an online resource hub, and a community of practice to facilitate national scaling. The project leadership continues to contribute to and learn from the Digital Navigator working group, coordinated by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance.“To ensure a more equitable digital future as online learning and services are the new normal, we must work together to make sure that developing digital resilience is radically accessible to all of US,” says Priyanka Sharma, VIce President, World Education – U.S.
For more information about the Digital Navigators project, contact Priyanka Sharma at firstname.lastname@example.org.