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Leveraging State Digital Opportunity Programs to Expand Digital Literacy

About This Session

Summary

Learn about the Texas Digital Opportunity Plan and how the Texas Broadband Development Office plans to use federal funding to address barriers to the digital divide with particular focus on digital literacy.

In addition, the BDO will demo the Digital Opportunity Hub, a free online resource that can assist organizations to find local and statewide partners to advance collaboration and address the digital literacy needs of specific populations, such as English learners, individuals with disabilities, and aging populations.

What we'll cover:

Millions of Texans are not connected to the internet, naming that barriers to utilizing the internet are not only affordability, but also digital literacy. The Digital Equity Act of 2021 was created to address the needs of the digital divide beyond broadband infrastructure. This means focusing on creating reliable and affordable broadband services, increasing device access, creating digital literacy programs, and expanding cyber security awareness.

The Texas Broadband Development Office (BDO) was tasked with developing a statewide strategic plan for ensuring digital opportunity for all Texans. Called the Texas Digital Opportunity Plan (TDOP), this plan outlines the goals and strategies that can be used to create digital opportunity programs and measure progress over time.

As the first plan of its kind, the TDOP aims to aggregate ongoing digital opportunity efforts across the state to assist organizations and stakeholders with their own programs. The BDO hopes to use these strategies to help Texans understand how learning how to use the internet can improve the availability of resources and quality of life. With the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant funds being tentatively released to states later this year, the BDO wants to know how we can leverage those funds to support new and preexisting programs for digital literacy skills training for Texans that might be most impacted by literacy challenges.

In this session, we will share ways the BDO hopes to use digital literacy to expand workforce development and improve access to online resources. We will demo the Texas Digital Opportunity Hub, a free online resource that provides Texas-specific data on populations and communities that affect their digital opportunity outcomes. Following our presentation, we will facilitate a discussion with community anchor institutions, libraries, non-profits, and the general audience to learn how we can collectively use existing digital literacy programs in Texas to expand digital skills access and address challenges to the digital divide.

During our session, we will answer the following questions and topics:

  • Who is the Broadband Development Office and what are their plans for expanding digital opportunity in Texas?
  • What strategies and goals does the Texas BDO have to address the barriers and challenges in digital literacy?
  • What trainings, organizations, and methodologies are we aware of?
  • What are our plans for digital literacy using the State Digital Equity Capacity Grant fund?
  • How will the BDO ensure that Texans are accessing digital opportunity programs related to digital literacy?
  • The BDO’s goals for digital literacy beyond digital skills trainings by addressing how we can use digital literacy to expand the workforce and increase access to online resources for Texans to be able to use the internet for services, such as health services, tax and banking information, employment opportunities, and education.
  • How can potential subgrantees prepare for upcoming State Digital Equity Capacity Grant funds.

What we hope to understand from the audience:

  • What existing initiatives are happening in different regions of Texas?
  • How should we focus on digital literacy efforts in rural areas versus urban areas?
  • How can we ensure that digital literacy programs and trainings are unique to the needs of specific covered populations, such as aging individuals versus English learners?
  • How can community anchor institutions, libraries, non-profits, and educational institutions create coalitions to build capacity around digital literacy skills training to maximize the use of state digital equity capacity funds?
  • What should the state consider when creating and supporting digital literacy programs?

Topics & Focus

Primary Topic Area
topic - digital literacy & technology
Session will also cover:
topic - community partnerships & collaboration
topic - program eval, data management

Pending

PD LIT
PD PAL
PD other

Handouts & Materials

No handouts or materials available at this time.

Presenters

Weber, Lauren

Lauren Weber
Digital Opportunity Outreach Coordinator
Texas Broadband Development Office

Reyes, Idali

Idali Reyes
Digital Opportunity Specialist
Texas Broadband Development Office

Audience
ROLE program administrators
Level
LEVEL intermediate
Product promotion?
EXHIBITOR NO
Other info:

Info

Pre-reading

Bring a device

Other

Breakout24 – KULKARNI

Page checked or updated: 7/16/24

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