The social restrictions required during the COVID-19 pandemic have created a problem for emergency managers and their teams who are accustomed to meeting in person. The obvious solution is online conferencing but not everybody has the resources available or the knowledge to utilize these resources.
What is needed is some situations is the ability to increase “Digital Literacy”… in other words, to increase understanding of what digital (online) resources are available and instructions on how to use them.
This page lists some of those resources and is updated as we learn of more.
What Is Digital Literacy?
Digital literacy is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.
Social Distancing Inspires New Digital Literacy Strategies
Reaching those on the other side of the digital divide and teaching the tech skills needed to participate in digitized society has long involved in-person interactions. Now, COVID-19 is changing the approach.
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) Digital Navigator Concept
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sudden, massive public need for trustworthy digital inclusion services. Millions of Americans need support from digital inclusion programs: to get connected with affordable home internet, find affordable computing devices, and learn basic digital skills.
Digital Navigator Baseline Job Description
Through an NDIA Working Group of digital inclusion practitioners revising their work to be socially distant and/or remote, NDIA has created a baseline job description for a Digital Navigator.
State Government COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Response
The onset of a global health pandemic has put a spotlight on digital inclusion. This page details local government initiatives across three categories:
⊕ Expansion of free public wifi (boosting wifi at public buildings parking lots, nearby housing, etc.)
⊕ Information about free and low cost internet options from wireline and mobile providers
⊕ Funding (states that are opening and expanding grant programs for COVID-19)
⊕ Computer Refurbishers (states that are coordinating with state-wide computer refurbishers)
⊕ Tech assistance hotlines, digital navigator programs (1:1 device, connectivity and tech support)
⊕ Online digital literacy training (live and pre-recorded lessons)
Community Emergency Response Team
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program educates volunteers about disaster preparedness for the hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. CERT offers a consistent, nationwide approach to volunteer training and organization that professional responders can rely on during disaster situations, allowing them to focus on more complex tasks.