UNDA Digital, a charitable organization, based in Los Angeles, has developed a task force to implement digital literacy toolkits designed to increase digital literacy among under-served people of all ages in West Lake, an incorporated section of Los Angeles County located by historic MacArthur Park.
The initiative is rolling out of digital literacy training programs run by staff from UNDA Digital and will be open to all adults in the community, not just students.
UNDA Creative said the impact digital literacy has on so many areas of life – from using the internet, or being able to use online banking, to receiving a quality education, and securing employment – has made digital literacy essential for all Californians.
According to the Pew Research Center nearly half of the minority households in the remote United States have no access to the Internet at home, “resulting in increasingly low digital literacy rates among Native Americans, Latinos, and African Americans, and the elderly.”
“Unfortunately, there is a persistently widening digital divide in the United States, particularly among central-American refugee communities, with the problem compounded by the rapid rate of technological advancements,” Program Supervisor, Mr. Diego Andres said, “As the United States becomes increasingly digitized, it’s crucial that our nation’s most under-served people have equal opportunities to participate in education and employment.”
The digital literacy training programs are focused on providing a basic understanding of Microsoft Office, teaching participants how to use Team, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Online, and a range of other Microsoft business programs, including OneNote.
UNDA Chief Financial Officer, Rebecca Mendoza stated that partner community college campuses have a mission to support reconciliation and “therefore have an important role to play in overcoming the challenges that many under-served communities in accessing and using digital technologies.”
“Students in the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles are geographically disadvantaged and digital literacy is a critical component of any effort to bring about educational equity to digital orphans in this region,” Ms. Mendoza said.
The initiative is anticipated to run 24 times in 2020, with training courses running up to eight hours, starting at a beginner’s level and then advancing to more intermediate concepts.
The digital literacy-training program is expected to run throughout the year aligning to curriculums at the national standard backed by major tech enterprises like Google.
“UNDA Digital recognized a need to implement basic IT training; a lot of services – Medicare, MyHealth, Centrelink, the ATO, even the grants program for Californians – they’re all online,” Mr. Andres added, “We’re on the verge of putting millions of Americans at a further advantage because of technical knowledge during midst of biggest headcount of the century.”