Regional Digital Literacy Initiative - Update

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On December 19th, 12 regional organizations convened at Valley Vision to further our discussion on creating a comprehensive scalable digital literacy initiative. The focus of this initiative will be to support in “Cultivating a skilled workforce by readying our workforce for an increasingly digitized economy.” This is one of the five major areas resulting from the Brookings Institution research.

We began our discussion by addressing the digital literacy landscape, which looked at best practice initiatives, coalitions, and projects that are occurring nationally as well as regionally.

Some best practices that are occurring nationally are:

Our conversation of best practices led us to a deeper discussion on defining digital literacy. In defining digital literacy, we started the conversation by looking at definitions of:

  • Digital Equity - the idea that everyone should have the information technology capacity needed for full participation in our society, democracy, and economy. Achieving digital equity includes providing access and helping people attain skills. (San Francisco Digital Equity Playbook, 2018)

  • Digital Literacy - A constellation of life skills that are necessary for full participation in our media-saturated, information-rich society. These include the ability to do the following:

    • Make responsible choices and access information by locating and sharing materials and comprehending information and ideas

    • Analyze messages in a variety of forms by identifying the author, purpose and point of view, and evaluating the quality and credibility of the content

    • Create content in a variety of forms, making use of language, images, sound, and new digital tools and technologies

    • Reflect on one’s own conduct and communication behavior by applying social responsibility and ethical principles

    • Take social action by working individually and collaboratively to share knowledge and solve problems in the family, workplace and community, and by participating as a member of a community (Hobbs Renee, 2010 - Aspen Institute)

  • Digital Skills - exist on a spectrum, from basic to more advanced, and encompass a “combination of behaviors, expertise, know-how, work habits, character traits, dispositions and critical understandings (International Telecommunications Union, 2018)

A key takeaway the group came to was looking at digital literacy and skills through a competency based lens, which would allow for a greater connectivity to applications in the workforce, civic, and social spheres of one’s life. We will be convening in January to iron out goals and metrics we seek to achieve as a group.

Thank you again to Valley Vision for hosting and providing a plethora of initial research around the digital literacy challenge. If you are interested in digital literacy or are working in the space please reach out to cameron@svpsacramento.org to get involved.

Organizations Present:

  • Align Capital Region

  • California Environmental Technology Education Network

  • Congressman Bera’s Office

  • Future Ready

  • Hacker Lab

  • Sacramento Public Library

  • Sacramento State

  • Sacramento Valley Manufacturing

  • SETA

  • Social Venture Partners of Sacramento

  • Square Root Academy

  • Valley Vision

 
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Cameron Law