As the host for Net Inclusion 2017, we in Minnesota had a partner event, Better Together, which brought together colleagues from adult education, libraries, and workforce development to focus on how collaborative digital literacy efforts can increase communities’ capacity to improve adult literacy and workforce outcomes. A previous blog post gave background on the event; this time, I’d like to share key points that come out of our discussions.

In addition to learning about resources that promote digital literacy and workforce skills, participants had the opportunity to provide input for the next level of the Northstar Digital Literacy Project. We had small group discussions about incorporating the standards into career pathways, identifying skills needed to succeed in postsecondary studies, recognizing skills necessary to navigate employment, and defining the gap between the standards and entering IT career pathways. We found some common threads and important takeaways:

  • Some of the more commonly suggested new Northstar modules were cloud computing, digital etiquette, document sharing, and critical thinking about information sources.
  • Seeking employment and being employed each involve large sets of digital literacy skills, and only some of them overlap. In addition to preparing application materials and submitting applications online, people need to navigate payroll systems and manage digital paperwork. Often employer training is delivered online, so employees need to be able to learn in that environment.
  • We have a need for digital literacy efforts that prepare people for college, particularly adults who are returning to education. In addition to the modules suggested above, instruction in online research, discussion board participation, and learning management system basics are important for student success.

If you’re interested in seeing handouts from the event, they are available here.