"Everyone On" Digital Literacy Campaign kickoff begins this month


Sometime this month (possibly March 21st) there will be a kickoff for a three-year Ad Council national media campaign that grows out of the Connect2compete (C2C) initiative http://www.connect2compete.org . I believe it is called "Everyone On".  Adult learners and practitioners -- and everyone else -- can expect to see PSAs promoting digital literacy. C2C is a national not‐for-profit organization of leaders from communities, the private sector, and leading charitable foundations working in collaboration with the Ad Council, the American Library Association (ALA), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and other organizations, to increase broadband access to computers, the Internet and digital literacy training.

I understand that Everyone On will promote initiatives for low-income families (those eligible for free school lunches) that make broadband access available for about $10/month, and refurbished computers available for $150. I also understand that this initiative will encourage people interested in digital literacy training to go to their public library for help.

This is a great opportunity for adult literacy/basic education ESOL/ESL programs to work with libraries and community computing centers to figure out out to make digital literacy training as well as computers and the Internet available to all adult learners and their families.

It's also a good time for many adult literacy programs to figure out how they can provide digital literacy instruction to all their learners. There is now a free national adult learner digital literacy assessment, called Northstar, http://digitalliteracyassessment.org . In the nearly dozen states that now offer the Learner Web,  http://learnerweb.org , there are free digital literacy Learning Plans (curricula). Some libraries, funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), offer free digital literacy instruction. Adult literacy education programs that do not have (enough) computers for their students, or who cannot offer digital literacy instruction themselves, may be able to partner with these libraries.

The next three years should be a time when every adult literacy education program, regardless of the the kinds of adult basic skills offered, assures its learners that they have opportunities to become comfortable and competent in using a web-accessible digital device, and that they can have Internet access from home, work, a library or an adult learning program.

David J. Rosen