OLD: Digital Inclusion: Louisiana Statewide Digital Inclusion Pilot

Louisiana Statewide Digital Inclusion Pilot

The Louisiana Statewide Digital Inclusion Pilot is one-year effort to address the digital inclusion needs in Louisiana with an emphasis on digital literacy. This pilot seeks to reduce the percentage of Louisiana residents who lack the digital skills to fully participate in today's society where essential functions are increasingly through digital technologies.

A cohort of 65 professional librarians and library staff have been appointed as digital navigators and will provide outreach and digital literacy training to their community. They will trial digital literacy programming and establish needed roles to develop a sustainable program with Louisiana's public libraries and other community partners. The public libraries participating as pilot sites include East Carroll Parish Library, Jefferson Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, Rapides Parish Library, and West Feliciana Parish Library.

"We know erasing Louisiana's digital divide requires us to pair digital learning opportunities with improved connectivity and affordability," said Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Kim Hunter Reed. "We are pleased to launch these pilot programs in local libraries supported by local digital navigators because we believe empowering communities is key to strengthening digital literacy."

The Board of Regents’ Master Plan for Education calls for “60% of all working-age adults in Louisiana to hold a degree or high-value credential by 2030.” This pilot is one effort toward achieving that goal, as it seeks to “reduce the percentage of Louisiana residents who are not digitally literate so they can better participate in a society where essential functions are increasingly through digital technologies.”

This pilot is led by the Louisiana Board of Regents and LOUIS: the Louisiana Library Network in partnership with Connect LA (Louisiana Office of Broadband Development & Connectivity) and the State Library of Louisiana.

Northstar Digital Literacy

The five pilot sites have implemented the Northstar Digital Literacy Platform in their libraries. Digital navigators use the Northstar program to provide a variety of digital skills learning opportunities in their communities. Some examples include:

Online, self-guided assessments measure mastery of basic skills in each of 14 areas.

  • Test takers can receive certificates and/or digital badges when they pass Northstar assessments in a proctored environment at a Northstar testing location. When test takers are logged in to Northstar Online Learning, the Northstar assessment result page links to self-directed online learning practice for skills not yet mastered. Once test takers pass the Northstar assessments, which certify basic skills, they are qualified to pursue more advanced training, certifications, or career pathways elsewhere.

Classroom curricula provide detailed lesson plans for instructors. 

  • Lesson plans are learner-centered and interactive and can be used in one-on-one or group instruction. The lessons give learners multiple opportunities to build digital literacy skills through practice tasks. Each lesson plan includes a detailed teacher prep guide. Lessons are structured to include warm-ups, daily objectives, practice tasks, digital literacy vocabulary work, and wrap-ups.

Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) provides individualized online instruction and practice. 

  • NSOL provides original online content that learners can access independently. When learners complete an assessment, they are automatically directed to the NSOL content corresponding to what they still need to learn. Digital Navigators assist patrons in creating learner accounts, which track NSOL work and assessments completed by the learners.

Information about the pilot program