What are Bridging the Digital Divide Computer Literacy Classes?
Each semester, the Bridging the Digital Divide Project (BDDP) recruits student volunteers to provide basic computer literacy instruction to community members. Groups of instructors teach at off-campus locations and to a range of audiences. Extensive computing knowledge is NOT necessary to teach these basic skill-level courses. Instructors must be patient, compassionate individuals who wish to help others and are not afraid to command a classroom.
Teaching is structured in several ways:
Structured Class: Community members register in advance, have their knowledge and skills assessed, and are taught from a curriculum for a predetermined amount of time
Drop-in Hours: Volunteers set hours each week at one location and community members drop-in with questions
One-on-One or Small Group Tutoring: Volunteers work with one, two, or three community members to address their individual needs
Teaching Computer Literacy
Instructors can expect to teach 2-4 hours per week. Classes typically occur twice a week, and last for 3-6 weeks. The length of instruction time varies depending on the needs of the audience and partnering organizations. Instructors are provided with a tested, pre-developed curriculum, exercise files, and handout files to aid in their teaching.
Population types that typically participate in computer literacy classes are youth, immigrants & refugees, unemployed and underemployed adults, senior citizens, retired adults, formerly homeless adults, and people with mental illness.
Opportunities for Student Instructors Include:
- For-credit Independent studies*
- Credit and Non-credit Internships*
- Voluntary Service
- Service-Learning Credit (SUNY Broome only)
*Require departmental approval
Our team has developed curriculum for the following levels:
Level 1: Discoverer
Level 2: Explorer
Level 3: Navigator
Advanced Microsoft Word
The Internet and Academic Research
Advanced Google Search Tips
Instructors are provided with a variety of materials in order to help them achieve their maximum teaching potential, including:
- A manual that serves as a comprehensive step-by-step guide for instructors
- Topic descriptions that provide a quick overview of each topic
- Exercise files that provide community members with hands-on practice
- Hand-out that instructors may use to supplement instruction
- Creativity is encouraged!
Only Binghamton University and SUNY Broome students may apply to teach computer literacy instruction through BDDP. Once classes begin (early to mid-semester), BDDP usually does not accept more volunteers. To avoid missing the application deadline, it is encouraged that you apply at the start of the semester in which you wish to volunteer or a semester in advance. Binghamton University students should fill out the application form and send it to BDDP@binghamton.edu SUNY Broome students should email firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate their interest.