Digital Literacy Corps Resource Roundup

Digital Arts Service Corps: It's for you

The newly proposed Digital Literacy Corps—part of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan recommendations—has been a source of pride for us: a recognition of the importance of our 10 years of service through the Digital Arts Service Corps and the CTC VISTA Project before it. Of course, back then we were trying to get folks on dialup… nothing has changed but the speeds.

Here are some recommendations and articles on the role national service can play in connecting and strengthening communities:

  • National Broadband Plan: Recommendation 9.3: Creating a Digital Literacy Corps.

    Some Corps members might be based out of urban schools where they could work with teachers, staff and administrators to create digital literacy lesson plans and integrate digital skills into the teaching of other subjects. Other members might work with broader social service programs to provide digital literacy training as part of a workforce development program. Still other members could incorporate demonstration projects into training activities in rural areas to show the relevance of broadband technology to rural non-adopters and to encourage people to invest time in digital skills training.

    Corps members will help non-adopters overcome discomfort with technology and fears of getting online while also helping people become more comfortable with content and applications that are of immediate and individual relevance. For example, Corps members might help people research health information, seek employment, manage finances and engage with or utilize government services.

  • Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy: Recommendation #12.

    Imagine a “Geek Corps for Local Democracy” where, as a post-college opportunity, American youth volunteer to help connect a physical community to the networked infrastructure. They would be assigned to diverse communities to help local government officials, librarians, police, teachers, and other community leaders leverage networked technology. Geek Corps participants would teach community members how to use technology. They would help local leaders to understand technological shifts and how they can leverage new technologies for community practices. Participants from all the communities involved would be connected into a national network of participants to share best practices, develop collectively usable code, and build a network of information systems for local democracy.

  • Huffington Post: A Plan to Connect All Americans to the Digital World:
    Like the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps, the Digital Literacy Corps will recruit youth and adults as volunteers to work in underserved communities, helping people get connected – not only to broadband, but to the educational and economic resources that broadband can bring to the next generation of Americans.”
  • Computerworld: FCC to propose national digital literacy corps:

    The National Digital Literacy Corps, modeled after other volunteer programs like AmeriCorps, will target communities with low numbers of broadband subscribers, including low-income housing developments, rural areas and tribal lands, said Mignon Clyburn, a member of the FCC, speaking Tuesday during a conference on the digital divide in Washington.

    The Digital Literacy Corps will mobilize hundreds of digital ambassadors in local communities across the country,” she said. “This is about neighbors helping neighbors get online.”

Some other proposed, existing and just-launched programs based upon a service model:


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