Building Skills and Literacy for Equitable Advancement
Technology is built into nearly every aspect of our daily lives and how we learn and work. Today, digital resilience – the awareness, skills, agility, and confidence to be empowered users of new technologies and adapt to changing digital skill demands – is more important than ever for active participation in society and the economy. Yet research shows that an estimated 32 million Americans struggle to use a computer, and half of all Americans say they are not confident using technology to learn. Many current adult education teachers have either not been formally trained or had training that lacked explicit support for supporting digital literacy instruction of their learners. These inequities bring considerable costs to them and our wider society and threaten economic recovery efforts, as over 8 in 10 middle-skill jobs require digital skills.
Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) is a new initiative from JFF and World Education, with support from The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), to better prepare adult education practitioners who support learners that struggle to fully engage in tasks that demand the use of digital technologies. This struggle is because of the barriers learners face when accessing, developing skills, and using digital technologies. DRAW aims to:
- Support professional development (PD) that enables teachers to be strategic and learner-focused in their lesson planning and instruction;
- Support adult education programs in designing effective, flexible technology-enabled education and support services; and
- Provide state Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA) funders and their PD providers with models, guidance, and resources for supporting funded programs as they sustain and expand digital literacy efforts.
Through DRAW, we will provide the field with flexible, evidence-based, and piloted strategies and materials that help teachers build the digital literacy skills and digital resilience of adult learners. These efforts will help to ensure adult learners can obtain the digital knowledge and skills necessary for postsecondary education and training, employment, civic engagement, and economic self-sufficiency.
Together, and in partnership with practitioners across the country, we will:
- Identify and curate existing resources for assessing and developing digital literacy skills and resilience;
- Co-create additional resources to fill gaps identified in the landscape scan;
- Developing a Digital Library to pull resources together in user-friendly, flexible formats with actionable strategies that work with diverse adult learner populations, including beginning-level English learners.
- Train adult education professionals in how to integrate high-quality resources into their instruction.
‣ Fall 2021: Landscape Scan
We invite you to complete this questionnaire to share your insights, experiences, and expertise with digital literacy resources. The Landscape Scan will be released Summer 2022 – but we’ll share findings throughout the year via the LINCS group, listserv, and conference presentations.
‣ Fall 2022: Technical Assistance Pilot
We will be inviting states and local programs to apply for a technical assistance pilot. This pilot will include a national webinar, state/local program selection, and coaching. More information about the pilot will be available in Fall 2022.
‣ Summer 2022 – Fall 2023: Resource Dissemination
Stay connected to DRAW to access the materials, curricula, frameworks, and tools that will shared and/or created through this initiative.
Special thanks to:
This project is funded by U. S. Department of Education OCTAE/DAEL contract GS10F0094X. The views expressed in this project do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education and its contents should not be considered an endorsement by the Federal government or the funding agency.