A Whole New (Virtual) World: Building Pathways for Tech Beginners
As the country shut down in 2020, adult learners were suddenly stuck in an all-digital world. Digital inclusion leaders developed the Digital Navigators model in response, and on-the-ground nonprofits like Byte Back implemented it in real life. Theory and practice came together to help us reach adults without access to internet, a laptop, or foundational computer skills. The 23-year old nonprofit shifted to meet the needs of adult participants, moving to a virtual classroom with people who had never logged into email or been on Zoom.
They also brought urgent needs to the attention of the Washington, DC community and policymakers through advocacy campaigns. The digital divide is not an unstoppable force, but it is one we need to fight back together on. This session will provide short and long-term solutions for digital inclusion on the ground and advocacy.
Session Type60 minute session
- Understand how to use the Digital Navigator model to make online programs inclusive and learn from Byte Back’s transition
- Be inspired by digital inclusion advocacy and generate ideas to connect their community to devices, internet, and computer training
- Make connections to continue figuring out how to plug participants into the new virtual world
Target Audience1. Digital Inclusion leaders, 2.Nonprofit staff serving tech beginners, 3. Comms staff interested in digital equity advocacy
Yvette Scorse is the Communications Director of Byte Back, a dynamic Washington, DC based nonprofit providing a pathway of inclusive tech training that leads to living-wage careers. With the help of Yvette’s branding, thought leadership, and media strategies, Byte Back has transformed from a community organization into a nationally recognized digital inclusion innovator.
Before joining the Byte Back team in 2015, Yvette managed social media and online communities for a capacity-building LGBTQ youth organization. She taught English and did some freelance journalism during five years in Madrid, Spain. Yvette earned her bachelor’s in journalism and Spanish, summa cum laude, from the University of Arkansas.
An advocate for digital and IRL equity, Yvette serves as the co-chair for the advisory council of the Rainbow Youth Alliance in Montgomery County, Maryland. In 2020, Yvette was named a DC RealLIST Connector by Technical.ly DC, and she was awarded a Queer Women of Washington Award by the Washington Blade and the Mayor’s Office on Woman’s Policy and Initiatives. Yvette has shared expertise on nonprofit communications and digital equity at the Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers convening in New York, a panel at the DC Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, on Big Duck, and on Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio.
Mark joined Byte Back as Education Manager in summer 2018. Originally from San Antonio, Mark came to DC over a decade ago and earned his master’s in English from Georgetown University, building on his bachelor’s in English from The University of Texas at Austin. Mark taught English in Morocco with the Peace Corps and has been involved in higher education since. He has held positions at the University of the District of Columbia, the University of Maryland, and the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities. Mark recently earned a second master’s in higher education from the University of Maryland, which has helped him enhance Byte Back curriculum development and program evaluation. When he’s not working, Mark enjoys spending quality time with his family as well as rock climbing and camping.
Digital US and World Education
Priyanka Sharma leads innovative projects for World Education, Inc. on college and career readiness, technology integration, digital transformation, and digital skills development. Priyanka co-leads Digital US, a national initiative with a cross-sector approach to design a learn and work ecosystem that fosters digital resilience for all learner workers in the U.S., and also directs the New England Literacy Resource Center (NELRC), leading projects that emerge from collaboration among the policy-makers, professional developers, and practitioners in the five member states. She is based in Boston, MA.