Celebrating Digital Learning Day

By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, Goodwill Industries International

In celebration of Digital Learning Day today, Goodwill® and Google have joined forces to offer Virtual Resume Reviews to individuals nationwide. More than 20 local Goodwill organizations will be using Google’s Applied Digital Skills program to help participants create and edit their resume, and receive feedback.

Started in 2012, Digital Learning Day has provided a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders and instructional technology programs that are improving learner outcomes. Last year, over 2,300 events were hosted around the country in support of Digital Learning Day.

As the use of digital technology expands beyond the use of education, policymakers at the national, state and local levels are rapidly having to regulate and legislate in response to the impact on a number of digital issues, including artificial intelligence, data privacy and cyber-security. However, tackling digital inequity needs to be a priority.

There are three general components of digital inequity, including access to the internet, access to technology, and possession of the skills to use internet technology in ways that give individuals equitable outcomes in an increasingly digital world. Approximately 20 million households, the majority of which are low-income households in urban areas, do not have broadband internet. There are 32 million adults who do not know how to effectively use a computer, and half of Americans report that they aren’t comfortable using technology to learn.

Many cities and states are employing individuals to address these issues. Additionally, a House Congressional Committee recently held a hearing dubbed “Empowering and Connecting Communities through Digital Equity and Internet Adoption,” as Congress considers passing the Digital Equity Act, which was introduced last year, but has yet to gain bipartisan support. The bill would establish grant programs to support efforts to achieve digital equity, promote digital inclusion and stimulate adoption of broadband internet.

Goodwill Industries International supports policymakers, employers and others in their work to create systems for digital upskilling that can help address these inequities. As such, we are proud to partner with Digital US in collaborating and innovating to remove barriers to accessing digital skills training. Digital learning can lead to increased earnings for individuals if all stakeholders including employers, service providers, philanthropists and policymakers collaborate to ensure a more equitable digital future for all.