Thanks to the internet, information is more accessible than ever. The web is where we go to get important questions answered, prepare homework assignments, apply to college, look for a job, do our banking, pay our bills, or even help us care for loved ones. But in the United States, 60 million people don’t have access to the internet, so we have a long way to go before everyone is connected and can benefit from the resources provided online.
There are many reasons why these 60 million people aren’t online, which means that there’s isn’t one easy solution to closing the digital divide. Research shows that 34% of people who aren’t online just don’t see the web as relevant to their lives, while another 32% say they don’t go online because they find it difficult to use a computer or navigate the internet. Our member organizations report that the digital divide impacts their ability to serve their community.
These problems—of relevancy and digital literacy—can be addressed through sustained work by local organizations, community leaders, and the private sector. That’s why we’ve launched the Digital Inclusion Fellowship in partnership with Google Fiber.
We invited the 2015-2016 cohort to share their reflections and tactics covering their experiences in working in digital inclusion with the support of the Fellowship. In this Digital Inclusion Fellowship Toolkit, they share their expertise on how to make the case for digital literacy as part of your mission, integrate and expand digital literacy programs, and build digital skills.