Digital literacy and connectivity are no longer just optional luxuries, they are a necessity for academic and workforce success. Digital literacy is just as crucial to success in adult learning as it is for any grade level. It is of critical importance for workforce training, and for today’s evolving life skills. Adults need digital literacy just to be able to navigate public and social systems, and the important resources available.
Without digital literacy skills, parents cannot help with, or monitor their children’s academic work or online activities.
Applying for most jobs requires online applications. Applying for many subsidies requires online applications.
Health and Medical Providers are moving to online scheduling and communication formats widening inequity gaps (1). Finding reliable online health information requires digital literacy (2).
Banks, Finance, and Insurance companies want you to use an App to interact with them.
Avoiding scams and staying safe online requires digital literacy.
Fortunately, there are extensive free resources available for digital literacy. There are also subsidies available for internet connectivity to help remove that barrier. Most libraries offer free WiFi and have computers available for use.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP):
https://getinternet.gov This subsidy can help with monthly Internet connections for those who qualify.
Download the printable fact sheet below for more detailed information including qualification.
FCC Affordable Connectivity Program Fact Sheet
To help spread the word and help families enroll, the FCC provides a consumer outreach toolkit. As educators we need to make everyone aware of this program.
Many Adult Education programs are incorporating digital literacy into the curriculum and offering computer classes to the community.
Digital Literacy for Adult Education Resource Links:
The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Teaching Skills That Matter (TSTM) Digital Literacy: https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/teaching-skills-matter-adult-education/digital-literacy
The Literacy Information and Communication System Digital Literacy Initiatives: https://lincs.ed.gov/state-resources/federal-initiatives/digital-literacy
NH DOE Digital Literacy Library https://www.education.nh.gov/who-we-are/division-of-learner-support/bureau-of-adult-education/adult-education-digital-literacy-library
Adult Learning Resource Center: https://alrc.thecenterweb.org/our-programs/digital-literacy/
Google for Education: https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/en/learn
Microsoft Digital Literacy Courses and Resources:
Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF) Global: https://edu.gcfglobal.org/en/
Digital Promise How to Support Digital Literacy in Adult Learners: https://digitalpromise.org/2021/02/08/how-to-support-digital-literacy-in-adult-learners/
Downloadable PDFs with Digital Literacy Resources for Adult Education:
Digital Literacy, a Guide for Adult Education Programs
Digital Literacy Guide for Adult Learners
Maryland Digital Literacy Framework
Northstar Digital Literacy Standards
Teaching Skills That Matter Toolkit
(1). Richardson, S., Lawrence, K., Schoenthaler, A.M. et al. A framework for digital health equity. npj Digit. Med. 5, 119 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-022-00663-0
(2). Wardlow, L, Leff, B, Biese, K, et al. Development of telehealth principles and guidelines for older adults: A modified Delphi approach. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2023; 71( 2): 371- 382. doi:10.1111/jgs.18123