Blandin Broadband Lunch Bunch Digital Navigators: Archive

Thanks to everyone who joined the conversation on Digital Navigators today. We had a lot of expertise in the Zoom room; that led to some really good questions.

Thanks especially to Marc Johnson, Executive Director of (ECMECC) and Paolo Balboa, Programs and Data Manager for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance for getting us started. On a high level here are some of the topics that came up:

  • Description of Digital Navigators in a wide range of situations – from school to seniors
  • What we’re learned and shared based on escalated need in the pandemic
  • Who are the digital navigators? Are they certified?
  • How do we encourage BIPOC and people in communities that are not traditionally going for tech careers to get into digital navigation – especially if that’s a stepping stone to better jobs
  • How do digital navigators work with folks with limited English skills

I’m going to paste the “chat” from the meeting below. I was going to clean up or organize the various links but I think people get a flavor of the meetings if I leave it asis. Remember we do lunch bunch meetings twice a month. Here are details on the next meetings:

 From the chat

12:01:54 From  Ry Marcattilio-McCracken  to  Everyone : Glad to join you folks–I’m eating lunch but listening!

12:06:32 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : So nice to see so many familiar faces here!

12:08:45 From  Scott Cole-Collectivity (he/him)  to  Everyone : indeed!

12:09:33 From  Ann Treacy  to  Everyone : Joe Miller (he/him/his) | Digital Access Project Manager | Literacy Minnesota

https://www.literacymn.org/

12:11:37 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : literacymn.org/mdedigitalequityproject

12:11:51 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : https://www.literacymn.org/mdedigitalequityproject

12:12:57 From  Ann Treacy  to  Everyone : Marc Johnson, Executive Director of (ECMECC), a telecommunications & technology cooperative of school in East Central MN. You can catch him talking about digital navigators with North Branch Area Public Schools, if you want a sneak preview.

Paolo Balboa is the Programs and Data Manager for the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, where he applies his background in adult literacy and data management to developing digital equity programs.

https://www.digitalinclusion.org/ndiateam/

12:19:28 From  Marc Johnson  to  Everyone : My email address is: mjohnson@ecmecc.org if there are any other questions anyone has after the session.

12:19:36 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : paolo@digitalinclusion.org, https://www.digitalinclusion.org/

12:22:20 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : https://www.digitalinclusion.org/digital-navigator-model/

12:24:57 From  Bernadine Joselyn (she/her)  to  Everyone : I think that is different in rural, where connectivity is more of an issue

12:26:52 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : Bernadine I think that’s absolutely correct

12:27:16 From  Marc Johnson  to  Everyone : That is our experience in rural MN for sure

12:29:51 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : More information on the project that Theresa described: https://www.ramseycounty.us/residents/assistance-support/employment-assistance/techpaks

12:37:28 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : Members of the communities being served might be an important ingredient. Someone trusted

12:39:36 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : Northstar Digital Literacy is a program of Literacy Minnesota

12:39:50 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : Opportunity to develop badges recognizing skills attainment.

12:39:50 From  Ann Treacy  to  Everyone : Nnorthstar link https://www.digitalliteracyassessment.org/

12:40:51 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : Northstar is available at each public library and careerforce center in Minnesota

12:41:48 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : Tech support could be one path but I wonder also if Navigators might also move toward more “social work” type of jobs.

12:41:56 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : To Paolo or Marc, my questions are 1) what might a digital navigator program focused on limited-English proficient family communities with children in prek-12 look like? 2) What are key components that a program like this must have to ensure and maximize efficacy? 3) What is training like for digital navigators to ensure they can effectively provide support in languages other than English to convey relatively complex words/concepts like satellite, mobile hot spots, internet speed, etc. that don’t always translate well in different languages?

12:42:27 From  Theresa Sladek  to  Everyone : I agree with that Jeff, digital navigators need to have a lot of the same listening, goal setting, resource finding skills

12:43:02 From  Theresa Sladek  to  Everyone : If you have questions about Northstar, feel free to email me at tsladek@literacymn.org

12:43:24 From  Marc Johnson  to  Everyone : Lee, if we aren’t able to answer those all in this time, please email me and I will give you my two cents worth!

12:43:53 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : Great, thank you Marc!

12:44:09 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : Lee, ditto what Marc said!

12:44:35 From  Marc Johnson  to  Everyone : To support what Jeff says, we found the needs for our digital navigators were more around communication and coordination efforts than technical issues – though that was definitely part of the need too.

12:47:54 From  Mary Magnuson (she/her)  to  Everyone : Lee, Project FINE in Winona is doing some digital navigators type work with immigrant and refuge families. https://www.projectfine.org/ I know they are doing site visits to client homes right now

12:49:39 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : Thank you, Anne!

12:49:55 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : MDE’s Digital Inclusion page has some resources that might be of interest… more coming too including additional language versions of the video: Karen, Hmong, Oromo, Somali, Spanish and Neapli https://education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/tech/digital/

12:49:59 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : this is a written report from Project FINE in Winona: https://www.literacymn.org/sites/default/files/uploads/MDE%20docs/Project%20FINE%20-%20Digital%20Equity%20Community%20Report.docx.pdf

12:51:18 From  Jeffrey Plaman  to  Everyone : Our video “Get Connected” makes an attempt at explaining some of the broadband basics. https://education.mn.gov/MDE/VideoNew/?group=Communications&id=PROD034605

12:53:25 From  Joe Miller, Literacy MN  to  Everyone : thanks for sharing Jeff!  Relationship-first matters

12:53:29 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : Thank you Marc and Jeff!

12:56:04 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : +1 to communications and relationships to build trust and tech second. Lee directly to your question, in the Salt Lake City Public Library version of this project, they were intentional about partnering with community-based organizations that have staff who speak the language of their community members, and already have that trust. They also partnered with Catholic Charities who helps resettle refugees in SLC + had staff and relationships

12:56:06 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : I completely agree that finding the right people is critical but I’m anticipating a barrier for digital navigators that our school cultural liaisons, advocates, and interpreters have, which is that they’re struggling to convey general education concepts like virtual learning, early childhood education, language access rights in different languages. The idea was that they are the communication experts and even they struggle with industry jargon.

12:57:03 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : So short answer, is not necessarily finding the right individuals, but the right organizations that are already working in this space

12:57:18 From  Ann Treacy  to  Everyone : Blandin Broadband Lunch Bunch – Infrastructure

Benefits of publicly-owned broadband networks

March 10

https://blandinfoundation-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMucOygqT4oE9z8V1akDGePCae1FdkwYCz0

Smart North – Smart towns around Minnesota

Sneak preview https://blandinonbroadband.org/2021/02/19/smart-north-is-a-new-collaboration-looking-to-help-mn-communities-be-smarter/

Blandin Broadband Lunch Bunch – Digital Use & Equity

https://blandinfoundation-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJctc-iqqT8oGdXS1iNuGz7pwSpJFgWw2uwO

12:57:32 From  Ry Marcattilio-McCracken (ILSR)  to  Everyone : I’ve got to hop on another call. Thanks everyone for your work and the discussion. See you next time.

12:58:19 From  Bernadine Joselyn (she/her)  to  Everyone : I have to leave for another meeting.  thanks everyone for the conversation today!

12:58:55 From  Lee Her  to  Everyone : Thank you for indulging me! This has been very helpful and reassuring.

13:00:14 From  Glenn Miller  to  Everyone : this was my first, so just listening today.  will come back again next time.  Thanks for the last minute twitter invite Ann!  I have to drop now.  thanks

13:00:34 From  Burke Murphy  to  Everyone : Thank you all – appreciate all you shared.

13:00:46 From  Scott Cole-Collectivity (he/him)  to  Everyone : Great convo folks – thanks a ton!

13:00:48 From  Paolo Balboa  to  Everyone : paolo@digitalinclusion.org

13:00:57 From  Marc Johnson  to  Everyone : mjohnson@ecmecc.org

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