digital inclusion

When a Chromebook Becomes a Family Lifeline

Car Wash

One of my hobbies at my public library job is buying affordable laptops on eBay and fixing them up. I then sell them at the same price I bought them for to people who need a laptop. When I noticed on eBay that a private school in Colorado was selling 10 Chromebooks for $500 (shipping included), I jumped on that deal. The model Chromebook they were selling was just two years old and still very usable.

Making Mobile Devices and Computers Easier to Use for Seniors — Part Three — Audio Enhancements

Seniors using a laptop

This is the third of a three-part series on ways to make digital devices easier to use for seniors. It was originally published by Community Technology Network (CTN) and is reprinted here by permission of CTN executive director Kami Griffiths. All images in the piece are courtesy of CTN as well. Find the first part on magnification here. Find the second part on audio enhancements here.

Making Mobile Devices and Computers Easier to Use for Seniors — Part Two — Text and Icon Enhancements

Woman working on laptop in park

This is the second of a three-part series on ways to make digital devices easier to use for seniors. It was originally published by Community Technology Network (CTN) and is reprinted here by permission of CTN executive director Kami Griffiths. All images in the piece are courtesy of CTN as well. Find the first part on magnification here.

Making Mobile Devices and Computers Easier to Use for Seniors: Part One – Magnification

This is the first of a three-part series on ways to make digital devices easier to use for seniors. It was originally published by Community Technology Network (CTN) and is reprinted here by permission of CTN Executive Director, Kami Griffiths. All images in the piece are courtesy of CTN as well.

Elderly users of digital devices are increasing in numbers. More than half of online seniors in America use Facebook nowadays. As seniors continue to make up a growing portion of today's digital society, it is important that they be able to confidently use their devices. The following how-to directions will hopefully be useful for librarians to help their patrons with sight impairment to magnify text and images on their screens so they can more easily see them.

5 Tips for Teaching Digital Literacy Skills to Non-English Speakers

This post was originally published on the Community Technology Network's (CTN) blog. CTN's mission is to unite organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy. We thought libraries, especially those that teach digital literacy classes, would find this blog post useful. 

A connected globe

Becoming digitally literate can be a long journey for many learners. It can seem like an impossible one to those who speak limited or no English.

However, thanks to technology, it has never been easier to eliminate this barrier to digital access. Here are five ways you can increase the effectiveness in which you teach digital literacy as a trainer.

Two Digital Literacy Sites You Need to Know

Most libraries provide some sort of digital literacy training, from public computer classes to drop-in technology labs to one-on-one help. TechSoup for Libraries' March webinar was all about free digital literacy training resources and tutorials. We invited guests from two organizations that specialize in digital literacy:

  • Scott Allen, program manager for the Public Library Association (PLA) where he oversees DigitalLearn.org
  • Jessica Rich, curriculum coordinator of GCFLearnFree.org

Online learning at the library

The most popular digital literacy activity among our webinar attendees was "technical reference questions" with "drop-in assistance" coming in second.

Your Library's Cheat Sheet for OverDrive Training

Article source: What is OverDrive for Libraries by TechBoomers.com. On May 18, TechSoup for Libraries is teaming up with TechBoomers' Steve Black for a webinar Digital Skills for OlderAdults: Teaching Technology. We thought we'd give a sneak peek at some of the training TechBoomers provides for libraries, such as this "how-to" article on OverDrive.  

Lots of people like to go out to their local libraries to borrow books and other forms of media, sometimes to learn something new, and other times just to be entertained. But it's not always easy to make it to the library; it may be closed, the weather may be inclement, or some people may generally have difficulty getting around.  Wouldn't it be nice if the library could come to you instead?

It's time for you to meet OverDrive. With OverDrive, you can borrow and enjoy materials from your local library or school's digital collection, including audiobooks, e-books, music tracks, and movies.  And all that you need to access it is a valid library card or student ID.

Stop What You're Doing NOW and Celebrate the FCC's Decision

Champagne glasses clinking in celebration

This post was originally published on the TechSoup blog. Because this ruling directly affects digital inclusion efforts, we thought our library audience would also be interested. 

In The Tech That Will Change 2016, I boldly predicted that this is the year that the digital divide will finally be bridged in the United States.

I based this largely on a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed rule change to expand theUniversal Lifeline Program to include affordable $9.25-a-month home broadband.

Well, the FCC did it! The new rule was passed today, finally making home broadband affordable to nearly everyone.

How Libraries Are Increasing Home Broadband Adoption

Cutting-edge libraries are addressing all aspects of broadband adoption: home Internet access, public Internet access, digital literacy training, and support and access to devices. As part of this effort, libraries are searching for and experimenting with innovative digital divide solutions that include increasing home broadband access.

Digital Skills Are Not the Same as Digital Literacy

Digital skills mean that you can follow a step-by-step process of creating an email account. Digital literacy means that you can recognize spam, know why it is being sent, and understand how email providers use filters to minimize potential harm.

Digital skills mean that you know how to use Microsoft Word. Digital literacy means that you can use Microsoft Word to clearly and effectively communicate all the key components of an assignment.

Digital skills mean you can show someone how to borrow e-books. Digital literacy means that you know why some e-books aren't available in New Zealand libraries, even though those same e-books can be purchased online.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.