Digital Inclusion Training Programs Increase Nationwide
As government and other groups that work directly with communities across the country increasingly prioritize digital equity, programs to train new experts in the field are steadily growing. The spike is a direct result of society — from government, to nonprofits, to individuals themselves — pushing for digital equity after COVID-19 made clear the importance of closing the digital divide. Angela Siefer, executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), estimates the number of active digital inclusion training programs in the US is triple or even quadruple what it was prior to the pandemic. Siefer and the NDIA have long put out resources to guide folks with digital inclusion training. It is not uncommon, Siefer notes, for her to now discover new programs built with NDIA’s published guidance by organizers who have never touched base with the group. That is, of course, in addition to people who are reaching out to the NDIA for help, too. Perhaps the most common digital inclusion training in the country is the NDIA’s Digital Navigators model. This is, essentially, the training of trainers. Digital inclusion experts work with members of community groups where digital equity is needed. Often, these are folks who then work directly with residents in some capacity. They range from librarians to staffers at senior centers to members of housing support groups. The commonality between them is they are already trusted by populations currently on the wrong side of the digital divide.
Digital Inclusion Training Programs Increasing Nationwide