Digital Navigation Services

Hello Integrating Technology colleagues,

No doubt you are aware of the continuing digital divide. You may also be aware of some of the solutions being provided by those who are interested in increasing digital inclusion and digital equity; one of these solutions is referred to as digital navigation services, or often, just digital navigators.

Digital navigation services are offered in at least eighteen states and, with federal emergency funding to address needs during the pandemic, more of these programs are being offered every month. National organizations such as The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), World Education’s Ed Tech Center, Rural LISC, and Literacy Minnesota have been helping local public libraries, adult education programs and local collaborations to start up digital navigation services programs by providing free web-based resources, technical assistance, online communities of practice, and in other ways.

Now we have a very useful case study of the implementation of a digital navigation services program at a public library in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s called The Digital Navigators Toolkit and it covers topics that could be useful to many other Digital Navigation Services programs such as: a description of what a digital navigator does; Identifying and working with community partners; hiring digital navigators; training digital navigators; managing a digital navigation services program; and measuring and assessing outcomes. There is also a Lessons Learned section, and an Appendix with links to additional resources.

I would be interested to know if you find this article useful.

Also, check out an earlier LINCS Integrating Technology discussion about the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) that includes digital navigation services; you will find it here

David J. Rosen