Digital Literacy Training Tutorials for LibrariesJanuary 27, 2016March 23, 2016
Welcome! Thank you for joining us for todays TechSoup for Libraries webinar, Digital Literacy Training Tutorials for Libraries
My name is Crystal and Ill be your host.
We have two guests today who will talk about some free digital literacy resources that you can integrate into your librarys services and programming. They will also share some ideas and examples of how libraries are using these tutorials in unique and innovative ways to help improve digital literacy in their community.
But before we begin, I have just a few announcements to share.
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Digital Literacy Training Tutorials for LibrariesJanuary 27, 2016March 23, 2016
So, once again, thanks for joining us for todays webinar, Digital Literacy Training Tutorials for Libraries.
Scott AllenDigitalLearn.orgPublic Library AssociationChicago, IllinoisPresentersTwitter: Ginny MiesChat:Becky WiegandJessica RichGCF LearnFreeRaleigh, North CarolinaCrystal SchimpfTechSoup for LibrariesSan Francisco, California
We have two guests joining us today.
Scott Allen joins us from Chicago, Illinois, where he is a Program Manager for the Public Library Association. Scott oversees the DigitalLearn.org project, a free resource for libraries that includes self-directed tutorials that teach basic computer skills.
Jessica Rich joins us from Raleigh, North Carolina, where she is the Curriculum Coordinator for GCFLearnFree.org, a website that teaches essential skills from work and career to technology through free multimedia course content..
My name is Crystal Schimpf, and Ill be your host for todays webinar. Assisting us with chat & Twitter we have Ginny Mies & Becky Wiegand from the TechSoup team. We will be on Twitter using the @TechSoup4Libs handle.
We will have time for questions throughout the webinar. Please send your questions using the chat as they arise, and we will address as many as we are able to. If you ask a questions that we are not able to answer during the webinar, we will follow up later via email with a response.
This webinar is being recorded, and all of the slides, resources, and materials will be included in the archive of this webinar, which you will receive within 48 hours.
Digital Literacy Training Resources#ts4libs
Well start off by hearing from Scott about the DigitalLearn.org project. He will give us an overview of what is available, updates on new features and courses, and will also share some innovative ideas for how libraries are integrating DigitalLearn into their programming.
Then Jessica will join us to talk about GCF Learn Free.org. She will give an overview of whats available, highlight some course topics that will be of great interest to libraries, and share some examples of libraries using GCFLearnFree to support technology instruction for their patrons.
We will have time for questions after each speaker, so please send in your questions as they arise. 8
Digital Literacy Training in LibrariesPublic Computer ClassesDrop In LabTutoring AppointmentsOne on One HelpTechnology Reference QuestionsResources for Library Patrons
Most public libraries in the United States are offering some form of digital literacy training and assistance to patrons, whether in formal settings like computer classes or in a more casual setting with drop in computer lab assistance, tutoring, and one-on-one help. Even reference questions can contain elements of technology and digital literacy, and most libraries provide a wide range of resources to help library patrons learn technology. 9
Poll#1Which of these digital literacy training activities are you directly involved in providing at your library (or nonprofit)? Select up to 3 responses.Public Computer ClassesDrop In LabTutoring AppointmentsOne on One HelpTechnology Reference QuestionsResources for Library Patrons
Wed like to know which of these activities you are directly involved in providing at your library (or nonprofit), meaning that you do these as part of your job or volunteer role. Please select the top three that apply to your job by clicking the the radio button, then click submit. Once you submit your response, you will see a summary of all the responses. If you have any ideas youd like to share, please put them in the chat. Well try to share out as many of your chat responses as we can.
PollPrior to todays webinar, did you know about DigitalLearn.org?Yes, Ive used it as a resourceYes, but Ive never used itNo
Wed also like to know if you are familiar with the resources we are sharing today. How many of you are familiar with DigitalLearn.org.
DigitalLearn.orgScott AllenDigitalLearn.orgPublic Library AssociationChicago, Illinoissallen@ala.org
Now Im going to turn the controls over to Scott so he can tell us all about DigitalLearn and how we can use it in our libraries.12
History of DigitalLearnIMLS grant to develop and launch websitePromotion, development of Teach communityWebsite and first Learn courses launchedNew funding partners and new features
The need for increased digital literacy skills in the community, and the potential for public libraries to help communities in this area, led PLA to develop DigitalLearn.org.
PLA was awarded a two-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the fall of 2012 to develop DigitalLearn.org. We hired Anneal Inc. out of Denver, Colorado to develop the strategy and manage the technology, and Kixal, a training and instructional design firm, to develop the courses. And of course, we consulted our public library members about what they wanted to see in the product not just in terms of topics, but in terms of education and literacy level of the learner, length of the courses, and other features that would make sure it met the public librarys needs. With so many digital literacy training resources out there, we wanted to make sure our product worked best for public libraries and the patrons coming in and needing help.
The website was launched in summer 2013, featuring what has now become the 14 core courses under the banner Learn. In 2014, we added the Teach section, which is a community of practice for digital literacy trainers and others teaching computer skills to share resources.
Then late last year, PLA brought on new partners and started adding new features, which Ill discuss momentarily.
ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services
As DigitalLearn was developed, weve had a number of partners. Core funding from IMLS helped us develop the program, and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies and the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy were collaborators in its initial development. More recently, the ALA Office for Diversity, Literacy and Outreach Services is supporting development of new courses and other enhancements, and we are collaborating with the Chicago Public Library to add new and exciting features.
Weve also had a lot of help from individual libraries and library trainers to help develop the course and make the site as good as it can be.14
Community of Practice
So what is DigitalLearn?
The site is divided into two main sections. One section is a community of practice set up to help digital literacy trainers, library staff who are interested in digital literacy training, and others share information. By clicking the Help Learners link at the top of the home screening, you will find postings to share resources, to announce events and to pose questions to colleagues.
From 2014 to early 2016, PLA had over 10,000 registered users on the community of practice, and there were over 400 posts to share information and seek resources. Last month, we updated the community of practice to streamline it and add new features features that make it easier for trainers to share materials, for instance. So in some ways the community of practice is new and just getting started, but we expect hundreds of trainers and library staff who find themselves doing training to use it over the course of the next year.15
Courses for Learners
The other section is the main landing page of the site and includes the modules that library patrons and other users can find to help them develop computer skills.
This is a screen shot of the sites home page. For those who are familiar with DigitalLearn, you may notice that the home page now features direct access to the modules, so users can start a course immediately without having to navigate to it. This is a new feature.
On the home page, users will see a short introduction and links to the various training modules on the site.
This section has been populated with 14 modules ranging from 6 to 22 minutes each. We intentionally kept the length of each lesson short based on what we knew learners needed and based on feedback of what worked best for public libraries. We also wrote every course at the 4th grade reading level, with a few exceptions, since some computer terms do not go below about the 6th grade reading level. The courses are also mostly mobile-device friendly, although there are some lessons (for instance as you see on the screen, using the mouse) that do not translate to mobile devices.
When a learner opens a module, they will see very clearly how many lessons there are, what they cover, and how long they are. Each module is a video with narration.
As you can see on this example, the site also tells them which lessons theyve completed.
Users can also access the course transcript as a PDF under supplemental materials this includes the entire text of the module and screen shots. Later in 2016, PLA will be adding subtitles to the courses, which may help users if they are somewhere where they cannot play audio or dont have headphones.
Current DL ContentGetting Started on the ComputerWhat is a Computer? (2:30)The Mouse (5:30)The Keyboard (5:30)Ports (1:30)Using a PC (Windows 7)What is Windows? (1:30)Desktop (3:00)Files and Folders (1:30)Using a Window (3:15)Saving and Closing (2:45)Deleting (1:15)
Using A Mac (OS X)Basic Search*Navigating a WebsiteIntro to EmailIntro to Email (Part 2)Intro to Microsoft WordCreating ResumesOnline Job SearchingCloud StorageIntro to FacebookBuying a Plane TicketIntro to Skype
These are the 14 modules and their individual lessons.
PLA intentionally started with very basic, critical skills. We know these are entry points for using a computer, and once these skills are established, its easier for you to help your patrons do what they really need to do with computers and the Internet.
And we know we are meeting a critical need. In the first year, the site exceeded our estimates for usage, with 36,667 visitors and 5,914 class completions. In the last year alone, since January 2015, there have been nearly 16,000 class completions. Since launching the site, the most popular classes have been Getting Started on a Computer, Using a PC, Intro to Email, Basic Search and Navigating a Website.
According to our feedback survey results, 73% of respondents said they used DigitalLearn.org to learn how to use a computer, and 80% of the learners also stated that they learned a new skill through the site.
First, we have many ideas for new modules and hope to develop at least 5-6 in 2016.
Right now, we are developing two new modules on safety and security, which will cover logging in, passwords, scams, phishing and other topics.
Other topics we will most likely unveil in the next few months include an introduction to apps, a course on options for saving your work using things like flash drives or Google docs, and courses on online maps, using mobile devices, and job searching.
We are also very excited to be rolling out the site and its modules in Spanish. As of today, users who toggle from English to Spanish will see the main site content and navigation screens translated, and two of the courses translated - Getting Started on the Computer, and Basic Search.
By early summer, all 14 of the core modules will be translated, with Spanish text and voiceovers. After that, every new module we develop will be posted in both English and Spanish.20
Finally, one new feature weve just added is the Sign Up/Log In feature.
Previously, we didnt require users to sign in intentionally, because creating an account and remembering a password are barriers for some low-level users. We still allow visitors to the site to take courses without having to create an account or provide any information. But now we offer the option to do this, so that users can create learning plans, pick up where they left off, and go back and print completion certificates for courses theyve completed, without having to retake them.
Youll notice, in keeping the focus on the target audience of those with very low digital literacy skills, weve done a few things that arent typical for screens where you create accounts and login:An email address is needed to create an account, but we realize some users will not have email yet! So we have a link directly below the email box so learners can take the email course to learn how to set one up.We dont ask for much information just email, first name, zip code, and a password.Also, passwords can be anything no specific length or combination of characters. And youll also notice the check box that says hide password at the bottom. This is the opposite of most sites usually, youll see show password there, and the password will be represented by asterisks for security. But this audience needs to see their passwords since they may have trouble remembering them or may not be great at typing and they need to see that they match when they retype them.
How Can Libraries Use DL?LibrariesLink to DigitalLearn.org on library computers and websiteEducate library staff to refer patrons to DigitalLearn.orgPost flyers Promote DigitalLearn.org to other community partners to help them provide training
So lets talk a little about how libraries, library networks and state library agencies can use DigitalLearn.
Generally, promoting the site at the library, teaching your staff that its a resource so they can direct patrons to it, and having it bookmarked on the librarys computers are the most common ways libraries are using DigitalLearn.
PLA has simple flyers that include space to put your library or branch name so you can personalize and post them. These flyers say Find a job, connect with family, gain new skills - Computer training from (your library name) and DigitalLearn.org can help.
Some libraries have let their community partners working with specific populations such as the elderly or job seekers know about the site so they can refer their clients there. The San Francisco Public Library collaborates on SF Connected, a program funded by the City and County of San Francisco and managed by the Department of Aging and Adult Services. SF Connected has advertised Free Computer Lessons! Computer Basics, Email, Job Search & more. Learn at Your Own Pace. SF Connected is working with DigitalLearn.org to offer youthese computer tutorials. Learn more and find free classes and computer labs at www.sfconnected.org.The Mesa Public Library in Arizona reported that they have a grant to teach tablet and smartphone skills to adults, including mostly seniors. They promote DigitalLearn on a resource sheet they hand out at the end of class.Many community agencies have found DigitalLearn and linked to it. For instance, you can find links to DigitalLearn on sites like the Utah Office of Economic Development website and through programs like the US Department of Housing and Urban Developments ConnectHome Initiative. When community partners find and promote resources like DigitalLearn.org, libraries can reach out to them to suggest their clients visit the library to further their education and get one-on-one help learning computers.
How Can Libraries Use DL?Library Networks, State Library AgenciesPromote DigitalLearn.org to member librariesEncourage staff who do training to join the community of practiceUse DigitalLearn for staff and volunteer trainingProvide suggestions for new training content
Library networks and state libraries can also help spread the word about DigitalLearn. In particular, sharing the community of practice section of the site as a resource for library staff who are doing training may help them get new ideas and resources, particularly if they are new to digital literacy training.
Some library systems and even schools are even using the site for training their staff. In Alaska, rural library IT aides were required to complete DigitalLearn.org courses under a hiring prerequisite.Based on their positive feedback, the Alaska State Library decided to give all librarians in the state a detailed training through DigitalLearn.org.Periodically, DigitalLearn.org has seen spikes in referrals from specific URLs or usage in certain areas. Weve investigated and found out that, for instance, a school district had used a module or two for its teacher training day.
Of course, we are always interested in getting feedback on the modules and suggestions for new modules your patrons or community partners might need.
Library Example: St. Paul
Now Ill cover some specific examples of how libraries are using DigitalLearn.
In 2010, the St. Paul Public Library and many other community partners participated in a process to determine how best to assess and quantify digital literacy knowledge among lower-skilled adults, as well as for displaced workers who might lack such skills. The intent was to provide meaningful assessment that could lead to a certificate useful for employers and job seekers. Through this process, they developed the Northstar Digital Literacy Standards, which are online at www.digitalliteracyassessment.org. In order to help patrons and other community members make progress after taking the digital literacy assessment, the library set up a website that links online learning resources to each standard in the Northstar assessment. You can see Module 1 on basic computer skills above, and highlighted are those links that go to modules or more often specific lessons within the modules on DigitalLearn. Other links go to similar training on sites like GCF LearnFree. Integrating content from DigitalLearn.org into something your library is already doing is a great way to use the resource.
Because St. Paul Public had so many community partners invested in this and because the Northstar Standards have become a national product used not just by libraries but by social service agencies, health clinics and others, many users are finding the St. Paul computer training pages. There are some periods where as much of a quarter of the referrals to DigitalLearn come through the Saint Paul site.
Library Example: Chicago Public Library
In January 2014, the Chicago Public Library embarked on a process to collect and review ideas for how it as an institution could help advance workforce development efforts in the City. Improving digital literacy was one of the ideas that rose to the top as an unaddressed high need. CPL assembled local stakeholders in Chicago including funders, City Colleges and Public Schools, the Chicago Jobs Council, the Illinois Department of Commerce and others. Together, they planned a phased approach to determine how the library could help Chicago citizens can achieve digital proficiency.
The Library began piloting a digital literacy initiative in branches using their Cybernavigators. CPL has Cybernavigators who are located in just about every branch to help patrons 1-on-1 with computer skills. They conduct 100,000 sessions with patrons each year.
It became clear that Cybernavigators would benefit from structure and organized curricula. It was also clear that CPL needed outcome data in its plan to show the impact of their training. So CPL hired a consultant to identify digital literacy training materials in terms of their quality for the initiative and their ability to provide outcome data. The consultant identified 36 resources and ultimately compared 3 in depth that were believed to meet the librarys needs, including DigitalLearn.org. Ultimately DigitalLearn.org was chosen as the most promising resource, based on patron reactions to the content and the level it teaches at.
But DigitalLearn, like most other training resources, didnt allow CPL to collect patron data. So CPL approached PLA, and we developed a partnership to help build new features into DigitalLearn. 25
Site CustomizationLearnersLogins to save progress, retrieve certs, etc.Course recommendations toolCustom course listLibraries (and other orgs)Custom course content (from DL or own content)Custom page contentUser analyticsCo-branding
So in collaboration with the Chicago Public Library, PLA has developed a new, personalized interface for library systems to help them customize DigitalLearn and measure their impact in digital literacy training. Thanks to Chicago Public Librarys vision and support, PLA can make this personalized site available to other libraries across the country, including yours.
Through this partnership, PLA and CPL have:developed a branded point of entry to the courses for CPLdeveloped a user interface to create accounts, take needs assessments, create and manage learning plans, and access completion certificates,andcreated an administrative interface for CPL staff
CPL will also be able to select which of PLAs modules they want to present through their portal and develop their own modules to post. For instance, they might work with Chicago Public Schools to develop training modules for parents with children in the schools about how to work with the schools websites.
CPL is piloting their new site now, before rolling it out to all their branches. By late summer, PLA hopes to start bringing other libraries online with their own sites.
Lets look quickly at some of the custom pages that Chicago Public Library is using.
When a user first creates an account, a wizard walks them through questions about what they want to do, and then recommends courses depending on their goals. You can see it asks about their current comfort level and what they want to do with the computer.
In the wizard, the user gets each question one at a time so they can read them carefully and think about them. What you see on the screen is the one page version of the questionnaire, which they get if they decide to go back and retake the questions.27
After the users complete the questions, theyre taken to their own course recommendation pages called My Courses.
On this page, they will see the courses that were assigned to them from their answers, and they can tell which they have completed and which they still need to do. They also can add courses, and any courses they start from the home page will be automatically added. They can also choose the ready to learn more option to retake the quiz and get more recommendations.28
The learner can also return and print or download his or her certificates at any time.
For low-skilled job seekers and individuals working with social service agencies to develop job skills, the ability to return to the course list and then print and show what youve completed can be important. By setting up the Chicago Public Library site this way, Chicago library patrons can return to the site and, either alone or with the help of a library staff member, can login and pull up what theyve already completed.29
Perhaps the most exciting features that PLA and Chicago Public Library have created are the back end features for administrators. Im just going to show a few screens, but youll see that weve made it very easy for the library to choose which courses to publish, edit course descriptions and other features, publish their own courses that meet local community needs, and get analytics to show funders and other stakeholders how many people at their branches are using the site and what they are learning. These are all features that PLA can help set up for your libraries.
On this screen, you see the basic Administrator Dashboard. From here, library staff first see the courses that are featured on PLAs DigitalLearn site, in draft form. They have the option to edit things like the titles and descriptions and eventually publish them to their personalized site.
The library staff can also post supplemental materials to accompany the courses and can post directions to the learners, for after they complete the course. Weve called these post-course completion notes and partner resources.
When we developed the personalized site for Chicago Public Library, the ability to post supplemental materials that can be accessed before the course and that appear to the learner after the course was very important. As you heard from Andrea, there are many city and community partners engaged in their efforts to help Chicago citizens develop computer skills and gain employment or otherwise participate more successfully in community life. These partners have their own programs to help people develop resumes, find employment, and more. These features on the personalized DigitalLearn site give library staff the ability suggest to learners that they use their new skills to connect with a local social service agency, or use another city resource to find a job opening, or make an appointment for counseling whatever is most appropriate for the library and its local partners.31
Another feature we hope many libraries take advantage of is the ability to develop and post their own courses. This screen shows some of how the library staff would upload, name, categorize and tag the new course. Right now, course files must be in Articulate Storyline authoring software, which is what was used to develop DigitalLearn modules. In the future we expect to be able to allow posting of courses in other formats.
By giving the library tools to develop and post their own courses, we can help libraries directly address specific community needs. These may be things like:
collaborating with the local school system on a course that helps parents learn to better use the schools online parent portalWorking with city government to develop training on using the city websites to apply for permits, pay bills, or access other servicesorsimply translating content of basic computer or Internet courses into a language thats prominent in the local community32
Please type your questions in the chat window. Send twitter questions to @techsoup4libs
Questions?Scott AllenDigitalLearn.orgPublic Library AssociationChicago, Illinoissallen@ala.org
PollPrior to todays webinar, did you know about GCFLearnFree.org?Yes, Ive used it as a resourceYes, but Ive never used itNo
As we switch gears to look at GCF LearnFree, wed like to know if you are familiar with it as a resource. So tell us, are you familiar with GCFLearnFree.
GCFLearnFree.orgJessica RichGCFLearnFree.orgRaleigh, North Carolinajessica@gcflearnfree.org
Now Im going to hand things over to Jessica who will tell us more about GCFLearnFree.org. Jessica?35
Please type your questions in the chat window. Send twitter questions to @techsoup4libs
Questions?Scott AllenDigitalLearn.orgPublic Library AssociationChicago, Illinoissallen@ala.org
Jessica RichGCFLearnFree.orgNorth Carolinajessica@gcflearnfree.org
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Find a job, connect with family, gain new skills
Computer training from
and DigitalLearn.org can help