Fantastic & Free First Fridays:

If you haven't had a chance to check out CrowdED Learning's website, or have missed our somewhat tucked away mission statement on the site, well, here it is....
CrowdED Learning provides freely accessible learning tools that reduce barriers for adult learners’ education and employment while promoting persistence and lifelong learning in the digital age.
In doing some recent work to live up to this aim as part of a couple local digital literacy initiatives, it dawned on me that a critical first step in achieving our organization's mission is to support efforts that ensure adult learners are digitally literate and have the skills needed simply to access the learning resources and tools we are so eagerly pulling together. We often forget how easy it is to fall behind in the rapidly changing world of technology...unless, of course, you have those parents who call you on a regular basis with questions about "the Google" or, like me, you purchased some stupid new gadget like Amazon's EchoDot and now find yourself constantly yelling at Alexa because you don't understand why she's not doing what you asked. So, before we put the cart too far before the horse, it makes sense for this month's F^4 Resource of the Month to be a truly fantastic initiative from the Public Library Association focused on digital literacy skills:

DigitalLearn launched in June 2013 and is designed to help libraries and community organizations in their efforts to increase digital literacy across the nation. At a time when digital literacy is a baseline expectation for school, work, and life—statistics from BurningGlass Technologies, a leading real-time labor market information engine, show that 78% of all middle skill jobs require digital literacy—it is important that we are doing everything in our power to help adults everywhere develop the skills needed to navigate and succeed in an increasingly digital world. 

Each module includes a PDF that shows
all screens and associated text.
DigitalLearn's site is elegant, easy to use, and includes 21 courses covering a broad range of topics in the areas of computer basics, being safe online, job skills, being productive, connecting with others, mobile devices, and online shopping. To support accessibility needs, each e-learning module can be downloaded as a PDF that shows all text and images included within the module. 

DigitalLearn also provides great resources for teachers, such as activities and lesson plans to support the student modules. Instructors also have access to lesson plan templates that allow them to create their own lessons and activities, and are invited to contribute their work and ideas to DigitalLearn. 

Even more, DigitalLearn includes great, time-conscious instructional design courses for teachers that provide guidance in best practices for developing e-learning resources for adults, practices that extend beyond just those for creating DigitalLearn lessons. 

All of the DigitalLearn student resources are licensed as Creative Commons 3.0 Attribution Sharealike Unported, meaning they may be shared and adapted as desired so long as appropriate credit, indication of changes, and proper licensing are applied.

At CrowdED Learning, we believe all people should have free and open access to materials that help them develop the skills they need for personal, professional, and life success. Come to think of it, this very notion—free access to information and learning—is one of the founding pillars of our public library system, so it is no surprise that a great resource such as would come from the Public Library Association. When it comes to digital literacy, we all must be lifelong learners. So, I encourage you to check out DigitalLearn and share it with others—educators, parents, or anyone else needs to develop their own technology skills or is involved in helping expand digital literacy. 

To learn more and stay up to date on our goings-on, please check out and sign up to stay in touch, volunteer your expertise, or make a recommendation. We look forward to hearing from you!