Making Strides in Digital Literacy: ELDES Pilot Comes to a Close

At Hosmer Library we’ve been making strides in digital literacy through our computer basics class, which ran from January 22 to May 24, 2024. Held every Friday from 1:30 to 3 p.m., this class served as a pilot for the English Learner Digital Essential Skills (ELDES) curriculum, a program specifically designed to cater to both Intermediate English language learners and native English speakers with no prior computer experience.

Funded by a grant from the Office of Broadband and Digital Inclusion (OBDI) at Hennepin County, our classes were primarily taught by Ilse Griffin, with the final sessions led by Grayson Betz. Six regular students enthusiastically attended this program; their dedication and progress culminated in a celebratory final class. To mark the occasion, we enjoyed a delicious tres leche cake from Los Hornos Del Rey and students were awarded new laptops, each accompanied by a mouse, headphones, and a protective laptop backpack.

Through the ELDES curriculum, students build digital vocabulary and practical basic computer skills.

Upon completion of the Computer Basics class, students were awarded new laptops, each accompanied by a mouse, headphones and a protective bag.

In the final class, students celebrated their dedication and progress with a delicious tres leche case from Los Hornos Del Rey.

Student Feedback on the Curriculum

The responses from our students have been overwhelmingly positive. By the end of the course, participants reported significantly higher confidence in using computers and expressed a notable reduction in their fear of exploring technology. The demand for another round of the class was unanimous, with students eager to continue their learning journey. They highlighted the importance of foundational skills, found the refreshers particularly beneficial, and praised the ELDES pilot program for its effectiveness.

What is ELDES?

ELDES is an innovative digital literacy curriculum. When LNA began offering digital literacy classes, we found that many students did not have the vocabulary or foundational knowledge about computers to follow along with the default curriculum, and as a result, struggled to make progress. ELDES was written to bridge that gap for Intermediate English language learners and native English speakers who are new to computers. Serving as a precursor to the Northstar curriculum, ELDES focuses on building digital vocabulary and practical skills through real-life applications.

The curriculum is structured into seven comprehensive units, each containing three to four lessons. These lessons are meticulously designed with clear outlines, full scripts, engagement pieces, and activities that foster exploration and practice. The objectives align with scaffolded Northstar standards and the Seattle Digital Equity Initiative Skills Framework, ensuring a robust learning experience. The curriculum is tailored to Windows 10, facilitating seamless application in community classrooms. Topics range from basic computer vocabulary and mouse usage to safe web navigation, using metaphors and real-life analogies to demystify complex computer functions.

ELDES was developed by Grayson Betz, LNA Digital Literacy Instructor & Coordinator, with activity assistance from Ilse Griffin and a review by Katrina Benson, ensuring a comprehensive and effective educational tool.

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, we have exciting plans for ELDES. We are actively working on translating the curriculum into Spanish (written) and Somali (oral) to make it accessible to a broader audience, including new immigrants and English learners. We aim to complete the Spanish translation over the summer of 2024 and the Somali audio versions by September 2024.

Additionally, once the English version of ELDES is fully reviewed and finalized within the next few months, we plan to make it freely and publicly available online. This will ensure that more individuals can benefit from this valuable resource, furthering our work to enhance digital literacy within our community.

Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to engage with our digital literacy programs. We look forward to continuing this journey to empower our community with the skills needed to thrive in the digital age.