Being online involves so much more than just consumption – there’s analysis, evaluating, understanding, applying, and finally creating, and there isn’t a job anymore that doesn’t require online competency.
Digital literacy in the Caribbean is important to the region’s future for a multitude of reasons, one of which is to have a skilled labor force from which to draw upon as opportunities are created. Digital skills are absolutely essential for the Caribbean to stay globally competitive. Rhea Yaw Ching, executive director of the US-based Covela Foundation recently stated that, “the key to unlocking innovation lies in equipping citizens with the digital skills most relevant to the region and developing the financial systems and services to allow them to fully capitalize on Caribbean ideas and innovations…” (via)
And we couldn’t agree more!
Giving back to the communities that we live it is important to us here at coralrange and we were excited to volunteer this summer in Saint Lucia at the Gros Islet Library’s Summer IT Camp.
Sara Burnett of coralrange designed the fliers for the program and then taught kids between the ages of 11-15 the basics of web design and user experience over the course of a week. A website was developed for this project that included day by day lessons, a glossy of digital literacy terms, and the pages that the kids each created. You can view the website here.
Along the way the students learned the different kinds of websites, the ins and outs of web browsers, URLS, the parts of a website, user experience standards, how to detect unreliable sources on the internet, citing sources, backend programs like wordpress, basic HTML, and how to create a website.
Students chose research topics to test their newly acquired online searching skills with and to create their web pages about about. The topics included relevant digital literacy issues such as preventing cyberbullying, detecting online predators, professional behavior on social media, digital footprints, online advertising, and careers in the computer science and digital design fields.
The Summer IT Camp was led by community leader Neil Verdant of Vision79 in conjunction with the Gros Islet Library. The students were split into two groups which rotated between Sara and Neil who ran sessions on computer repair, software installation, and troubleshooting. Two lucky students were awarded the computers they built and were able to go home with them!
The internet is here to stay, and becoming an informed digital citizen is a must for our youths and for our region as a whole.
For more information on developing and implementing digital literacy training programs for your school, staff, club, or hotel, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.