Digital Navigators: Connect to Opportunity

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Through its leadership of the Digital US Coalition, a collective impact effort focused on digital equity, the EdTech Center identified in 2018 the need for and worked with partners nationally to develop just-in-time supports to help them secure affordable internet access and/or devices and learn to use them to help meet their goals. With the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the EdTech Center designed a new virtual format for delivery of digital navigator supports at a distance via phone or video conferencing to support learner-workers' digital connectivity, device, and skills needs. 

With funding from Walmart, the EdTech Center @ World Education collaborated with some of its Digital US Coalition partners to develop and refine a service model for offering “digital navigator” services and to coordinate pilots to demonstrate impact and replicability. The EdTech Center guided the pilot partners in designing their services and recruiting and training their staff or volunteer Navigators. ilot partners included Byte Back in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area, Literacy Minnesota, JVS Boston, and Sitting Bull College in North Dakota and South Dakota. Additional project partners who joined with goals for model replication and informed the resources included National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), KYSkillsU, Literacy Council of Lancaster in PA, Equity in Education Coalition in WA, and the Nebraska Library Commission. Free project resources to support the development, implementation, and scaling of the model include a Digital Navigator Playbook, a hub for digital inclusion resources, and a community of practice to facilitate national scaling. 



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