Community Tech Network has recently implemented a strategy for training digital navigators. This strategy plays a central role in CTN’s SF Bridge Digital Equity project with the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development.
Digital navigators are chosen from within the communities that CTN serves, as they are best equipped to understand local needs, as well as the cultural and linguistic context. Navigators can be volunteers or staff members from social service agencies, libraries, or health centers.
CTN trains the navigators so that they are well versed in digital equity. The navigators learn how to help people sign up for discounted high-speed internet through initiatives such as the Affordable Connectivity Program. The navigators are also trained to answer technical questions about devices, provide digital literacy training, and connect community members to other resources and learning materials.
The key aspect of the digital navigators program is that it allows CTN’s work to be sustainable. Digital navigators can gain real-life experience by helping with CTN’s digital literacy classes, and they remain in the community after the program ends.
Digital navigators thus serve as consistent and reliable resources for their community members, providing ongoing digital support and advice to learners. Local community members grow to know and trust the digital navigators and feel comfortable turning to them for digital help.
Kari Gray, CTN’s Digital Literacy Program director, says, “We want to create an ecosystem of digital navigators.”
Support CTN today as we continue to train digital navigators across a wide range of communities.
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