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Press Release: Vibrant Hawaiʻi Leads Digital Literacy Demonstration Project

Updated: Apr 27

Digital Trainings Increase Equity & Promote Job Opportunity for Hawaiʻi Island Residents



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2021


Media Contact: Janice Ikeda

Executive Director, Vibrant Hawai‘i

(808) 936-2268 | janice@vibranthawaii.org

Vibrant Hawaiʻi is offering free workshops for digital literacy training to Hawaiʻi residents island-wide. Funded by the Kirk-Landry Charitable Fund, this new program promotes computer literacy by providing classes and technology tools for up to 500 Hawaiʻi Island residents from December 2021 to March 2022.


“Since the web has become our society’s main medium of communication, it is crucial for people to learn how to access online resources. When they do, they get more chances, more choices. Our ʻohana is thrilled to partner with Vibrant Hawaiʻi with this novel approach to propagate skills.” says Caroline Landry, Advisor to the Fund and Vibrant Hawaiʻi Board member.


Digital Literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, and clearly communicate information through typing and other media on various digital platforms. Digital literacy is increasingly vital in today’s society, especially in the workplace. 40% of Hawaiʻi state residents show less digital readiness, compared to the national average at 19%. Hawaiʻi County falls behind the rest of the state with 54% of residents showing less digital readiness (Hawaiʻi Digital Literacy and Readiness Study, 2021).


According to the 2021 Hawaiʻi Digital Literacy and Readiness Study, the most effective strategies for growing digital readiness in Hawaiʻi County include:

  • focusing on online skills as the foundation in addition to creative, employment and financial skills;

  • targeting those working in sectors such as building/construction, agriculture, service, and financial/banking, retired residents, homemakers, or unemployed; and

  • increasing awareness of virtual opportunities (Hawaiʻi Digital Literacy and Readiness Study, 2021).

The Digital Literacy Demonstration Project will teach participants the skills they need to navigate important digital landscapes: Telehealth, online benefit applications, online employment applications and more.


“The purpose of this project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of allowing community to lead in sharing their knowledge, skill, and expertise with each other - and it is an example of Community Led Development. We also hope to provide valuable data to scale and develop future initiatives that support digital equity, and opportunities that move Hawaiʻi Island ahead in the tech economy landscape. Ultimately, this project is part of Vibrant Hawaiʻi’s mission to empower our community with equitable access to resources to thrive.”, says Janice Ikeda, Executive Director of Vibrant Hawaiʻi.


Community based instructors located in Kaʻū, South Kona, North Kohala/Waimea, Hāmākua, Hilo, Puna Makai, and Puna Mauka will provide training in the basics of computer skills using the Northstar online curriculum. Workshops are held in small groups in a casual, community setting.


“This is a much-needed project for Hawaiʻi Island. It will create awareness of an important 'teach one to fish' opportunity and address it through community member-led training.”, says Noel Morin, Project Director. “I expect many program participants to share their knowledge with others in the peer groups and families, magnifying impact. I'm also thrilled that our program will be using laptops that are refurbished locally, thus supporting upcycling of computers.”


For more information or to sign up for a class, call the number below.