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Digital Navigator Program

JULY 2021 – PRESENT

Digital Navigator Program

The Purpose

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition of vital resources, such as employment and education services, to a strictly online presence. This has caused people who do not have access to digital connections or devices to fall behind in their ability to connect with the services they need. One promising innovation to address this challenge is the digital navigator concept. Digital navigators are people who connect community members with groups and programs to provide low-cost home internet service, an affordable computing device, and foundational digital literacy training based on their specific needs. Nonprofits, in particular, have a strong opportunity to fill this role, given the interactions they have through their work with those who lack digital access.

Strengthening the Impact

Through the Digital Navigator Program, The Patterson Foundation is training local organizations to connect asset-limited families and individuals with opportunities to obtain digital connectivity, devices, skills, and support. Through a series of trainings, implementation meetings, and knowledge-sharing sessions with other nonprofits, consultants help participants embed the responsibilities of the digital navigator into the organization’s daily work and culture.

FAQ's

Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why is The Patterson Foundation supporting the Digital Navigator Program?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. It’s more important than ever for community members to be able to connect digitally to education, health, employment, and other vital services.

What is the Digital Navigator Program?

The Patterson Foundation’s Digital Navigator Program trains local organizations to connect asset-limited families and individuals with opportunities to obtain digital connectivity, devices, skills, and support. Through a series of trainings, implementation meetings, and knowledge-sharing sessions with other nonprofits, consultants help participants embed the responsibilities of the digital navigator into the organization’s daily work and culture.

What is a digital navigator?

A digital navigator is a person who provides individual or small-group assistance to community members who need low-cost home internet service, an affordable computing device, and foundational digital literacy training to make the most of the internet and its opportunities. Digital navigator assistance may be provided in person, by phone, or via email or text within the context of a full- or part-time position, as a volunteer, or within an existing job function.

Which organizations are participating in the Digital Navigator Program?

Three organizations are currently participating in a pilot of the Digital Navigator Program:

How does the Digital Navigator Program aspire to evolve?

The pilot of the Digital Navigator Program will inform the creation and refinement of a digital navigator training model for future participants. The Digital Navigator Program also aspires to include opportunities for nonprofits to learn how to provide this training to other organizations and groups they collaborate with to expand the network of digital navigators in our region.

Who can I contact about the Digital Navigator Program?

For more information, contact TPF Fellow John Ferguson at jferguson@thepattersonfoundation.org.


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