connect / 2019
GoDigital! Digital Literacy Program
The City of LA is seeking funding to support its Digital Inclusion work, specifically the expansion of Digital & Data Literacy programming to Angelenos in underserved communities. Funding will support educational programs to equip under-connected Angelenos with the skills to actively engage with online and application driven City and other services. The education will be designed to ‘meet people where they are’, with respect to how they are currently using technology to gain online access.
Please list the organizations collaborating on this proposal.
- City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment
- City of Los Angeles Public Library
Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.
Technology has changed the way we live and interact with each other and how we access services that aid our daily living. The City’s Information Technology Agency (ITA) strives to use technology and data to better serve the needs of Angelenos. Through the use of mobile apps, chatbots, social media and machine learning, we have enhanced ways of reaching residents, visitors and business owners. We’re excited about working on solutions that address traffic congestion, clean streets, air quality monitoring and fires in open spaces and also excited about our programs that bring technology to residents. Through the previously mentioned OurCycleLA program, we’ve seen the impact of providing computers to families so that students are able to complete their homework. Computer skills and broadband hotspot access via our Public Libraries also provide us insight into the gaps our digital inclusion efforts are filling. These interactions provide us first hand knowledge of how not having online access to services or understanding how to participate in an online/always connected world can leave a community behind and drastically expand the digital divide.
As the City transforms digitally, we realize our IT services reach is beyond our family of City departments. We are now at a pivotal stage of transforming how we deliver digital services and ensure that there is an equitable way for Angelenos to engage. The GoDigital! Digital Literacy Program will be a great enhancement to what has begun.
Which of the connect metrics will your submission impact?
- Government responsiveness to residents’ needs
In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?
- East LA
- South LA
How will your project make LA the best place to connect?
The GoDigital! program will be executed during the span of a year leveraging a variety of City resources, outreach channels and partnerships to reach Angelenos and deliver the content. As the City of Los Angeles works to design a Smart City, we’ve been engaging within the community using art and systems thinking to understand pain points related to connectivity. For example, there are many residents who use the City’s Public Library system for job searches, including resume creation. However users who are not familiar with how internet ads show up in search engine results run into the challenge of clicking on targeted ‘ads’ vs truly free online resume services. There are also scenarios where Senior residents may need to complete banking transactions that have become completely automated, and the customer does not have experience with using a kiosk or a computer. And most importantly, as the City transitions to providing increased digital services, everyone should be equipped with the ability to use tools such as the MyLA311 app and the ShakeAlertLA app, as well as strive towards becoming civicly engaged in the City through the use of its open data portal. These examples highlight the growing opportunity to digitally connect across the City of LA.
According to a USC study, 30% of residents in Los Angeles County do not have access to broadband in their homes. To help bridge the digital divide, the City of Los Angeles has led an OurCycleLA project, a digital inclusion program designed to refurbish thousands of salvage computers from the City and provide them to families in need. However we realize we cannot stop there, we must also provide the educational tools that will aide in the adoption of connecting digitally.
The GoDigital! Digital Literacy program is designed to ‘meet residents where they are’, with the tools they have for accessing and connecting online. Whether a person is connecting via a computer, laptop or mobile device that they own or access via the library, a community center or other means, the GoDigital! Digital Literacy program will equip residents knowledge and skills to use their devices for a multitude of services and activities.
This project will engage parents, grandparents, students, etc. as a way of increasing participation in the Digital ecosystem. The program will specifically teach safe tasks such as creating a secure login, as well as provide education on how to use computers, mobile phones and tablets to engage in activities from paying bills, helping children with homework, to engaging in activities as streaming faith-based programming or one’s favorite music.
The pace of technological change is fast, this project will make sure no Angeleno is left behind and that they are prepared to actively participate in a mobile, digital economy, understanding the power and usefulness of technology and data.
In what stage of innovation is this project?
Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)
Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.
Outreach to 1000+ Angelenos who attend Digital and/or Data Literacy programming
An expansion of digital ecosystem partners engaged with the City of Los Angeles ITA to provide Digital Literacy programming and activities to Angelenos
20% Increased usage of the City’s digital services, e.g., MyLA311, in areas identified as under-connected
It is the hope that this activation will reduce the Digital Divide in South Los Angeles by 50%. Also that families will be able to comfortably use technology to engage online together to manage household needs, access educational and job opportunities, as well as connect with families members near and far. It is our hope that through this educational program, we’ll see a decrease in joblessness, an increase in educational attainment, as well as increase in community economic development.