In the UK, Digital Champions are at the center of One Digital and are delivering sustainable digital skills to people right across society.

The Digital Champion Network

The Digital Champions Network (DCN) is a unique and comprehensive online platform that provides Digital Champion training and a support community for people who go through that training.

Shared with housing providers, local authorities and other regional and national organisations it is successfully turning hundreds of volunteers into Digital Champions who can provide effective digital skills support.

With courses, resources and forums specifically designed to develop the critical skills needed for a successful Digital Champion, the DCN is a unique and low-cost way to help people to get and stay online.The Digital Champions Network (DCN) is a supported online solution to create, train and support Digital Champions in your community.  Click on the image below to view the info-graphic.



What are Basic Digital Skills?

Basic Digital Skills have been defined by digital skills charity Go ON UK in consultation with a range of expert organisations. Basic Digital Skills empower the individual to use digital technologies to: manage information; communicate; transact; problem solve, and, create.

Why is it important to have Basic Digital Skills?

Today’s world is a digital world and those without the skills to participate in it are disadvantaged. Over 12 million people (around 1 in 5 UK adults) don’t have basic digital skills (Go ON) and as a result they have less opportunity to realise the individual, social, economic and health related benefits that having digital skills provides.

It has been estimated that the annual social value of every individual getting online for the first time is £1,064 (BT Valuing Digital Inclusion, 2014).  The ability for individuals to use digital also results in them:

  • Having more confidence.
  • Making financial savings online.
  • Feeling less bored.
  • Having more opportunities to pursue hobbies.
  • Developing new job-seeking skills.
  • Reducing their social isolation.

What is a Digital Champion?

Digital Champions are people, such as staff, volunteers, friends and family members, who already interact with those who need better digital skills. Digital Champions are not technical wizards but have passion and confidence with using digital technology and a willingness to help others.

What difference can a Digital Champion make to helping people online?

When there is an existing relationship between a potential Digital Champion and an end beneficiary, there is an opportunity to add digital skills support into it. That digital skills support – whether it is signposting, advice or hands on tuition – is much more impactful because it is relevant and personalised for that engaged individual. Digital Champions can also provide accessible and regular support, giving that long term help that many internet beginners need.

This One Digital infographic shows exactly how Digital Champions can make a difference.

How are the Digital Champions being trained and supported?

At the heart of One Digital, is Digital Unite’s Digital Champions Network, an e-learning platform and support network. It provides courses, resources and Mentor support to hone and develop personal skills and the essential teaching techniques. It is also the central area where data about Champion and end learner activities is collated. Digital Champions also receive Mozilla Open Badges, the emerging online approach to professional verification, for every course they complete. Open Badges are shareable and transferable and Digital Champions can use them on CVs and on LinkedIn as a recognition of the skills and aptitudes they have gained via the Network

Getting in touch:

  • If you would like to know more about the One Digital programme and its partners please contact Emma Weston, One Digital Programme Director and Chief Executive of Digital Unite at [email protected].
  • If you are interested in becoming a Digital Champion please email [email protected] or call 0800 228 9272.
  • For all media enquiries about One Digital please contact Katharine Teed, Communications Manager at Digital Unite [email protected] / 0800 228 9272.








Public Policy Framework Helps Provide Direction for Libraries Regarding Digital Inclusion

The Institute of Museum and Library Services, the University of Washington Information School, and the International City/County Management Association have developed a comprehensive framework to help libraries identify, evaluate, and improve services regarding digital inclusion and digital literacy.  More and more individuals without computer access at home are turning to libraries as a conduit to access the Internet.

The document, “Building Digitally Inclusive Communities,” is the product of over 100 organizations’ comments and ideas.  The document highlights five important principles: Availability and affordability, public access, accessibility for people with disabilities, adoption and digital literacy, and consumer education and protection.

The document provides high-level guidance to furthering the digital inclusion discussion in local communities and directs readers to additional helpful resources.

View the document at: or read more about it at:

The Broadband Commission’s Online Sharehouse

In response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s directive to encourage the UN to meet the millennium Development Goals, The International Telecommunication Union and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.  The Commission’s mission is to advocate for the inclusion of broadband on the international policy agendas and is working to increase broadband access internationally.

One tool that the Broadband Commission has developed is a user-driven database of best practices ranging from case studies to policy recommendations.  This database, the Sharehouse, has over 200 searchable initiatives from reputable organizations such as the Brookings Institution and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Each submission is categorized by themes on which the submission touches upon, such as Infrastructure or Policy and Regulation, includes information about the project’s geographical coverage or area reported upon, and other classifying details such as time scale, partners, and points of contact.

The Broadband Commission’s Sharehouse is an outstanding example of how the international community can learn from each other through the stewardship and guidance of the United Nations and other international organizations.  Visit the site at:

The UK’s Digital Inclusion Network

The United Kingdom shares a similar demographic distribution to the United States in regards to Senior Citizens and digital inclusion.  One way a group of NGOs are trying to bridge the digital divide is through their program called the Digital Inclusion Network.  This group, founded in 2006, consists of more than 200 member organizations that provides computer and Internet training to Senior Citizens.  Member NGOs sign an MOU and participate in this network by sharing best practices and local information and receive start-up support including toolkit, learning materials and resources, and opportunities to network and create partnerships.

This partnership organization is managed by AgeUK, an organization that provides information spanning financial advice and health advice, to public policy research and funding regarding Senior Citizens.  The Digital Inclusion Network is a fine example of networking local NGOs which know its constituents best, to best serve and address issues involving digital inclusion.

For more information, visit:

CodeNow Teaches Students How to Code

CodeNow (a non-profit organization) focuses on developing the next pioneers in technology by teaching underserved youth foundational skills in computer science and programming with the objective of narrowing the current digital divide. The organization teaches high school students the basics of computer programming and computer science in free, extra-curricular, off-campus trainings and boot camps. Each student who completes their program receives a netbook, mentoring and assistance finding internships.

Working with numerous partners, the organization successfully launched its pilot program in DC in August.  In 2012 CodeNow will expand to four cities.

As founder Ryan Seashore says, “coding is the new literacy, it gives youth the ability to create and innovate.” This fantastic program gives high school students the tools to Win the Future.

To learn more about their program, go to or follow them on twitter @CodeNowOrg.

Read more:

JobScout Teaches Job Skills Using Online Game

JobScout is like many of the start-ups launching on a daily basis in Silicon Valley, except for the fact that many of its users do not even know how to use the Internet yet. A project that has been supported and seed funded by the California State Library, JobScout is a platform that provides an interactive online environment that uses game design to teach job-hunting skills and the digital literacy basics that are necessary for finding employment. Users will be able to get support in the pilot phase at nearly 140 pilot sites at library branches in California, including locations in Los Angeles County and San Jose. The libraries, a place of resources and community for many potential users, will provide entry points and guidance for new users.

Users earn badges for lessons completed and can track success and progress. Characters greet users as they enter and complete lessons. A job aggregator lets users know of the latest jobs available in their area that meet their interests. A resume builder function enables users to create a resume and print it to submit. A variety of resources for job hunting are contained in one database, streamlining the job seeking process.

The basics of the Internet that are second nature to some are thoroughly covered: Opening and using email, submitting a query on a search engine and using Facebook and LinkedIn to create profiles and find job opportunities. While the content is geared towards users finding, applying to and acquiring jobs, the lessons teach skills that reach far beyond their immediate goal.

The system’s do-it-yourself methodology and technology that learns with the users as they use it will provide an educational experience parallel to other platforms that have proven successful online. A variety of online initiatives, whether Khan Academy for math and sciences or Code Academy for the advanced Internet user who wants to pick up programming skills, have proven that self-paced and enjoyable online learning experiences are the future of education, regardless of the subject.

True access includes the appropriate infrastructure, access points, hardware and digital literacy skills to be a participant in our online community. In an era of development and companies focusing on “social,” inclusion is critical.

The platform launches this Wednesday with a live demonstration online and can be found at

Read more:

Freedom Rings Partnership will bring Internet access, training, and technology to low-income residents of Philadelphia

The Freedom Rings Partnership is a $25 million federally-funded initiative led by the Urban Affairs Coalition and the City of Philadelphia, with Drexel University as a major partner.

The Freedom Rings Partnership is made up of grassroots organizations, government, and universities that will bring Internet access, training and technology to residents in low-income communities.  This multi-year initiative officially kicked off on January 17, 2011 by sponsoring the signature project of the MLK Day of Service – refurbishing used computers to be distributed back into the community, assembling digital literacy kits, and hosting a high-tech scavenger hunt called “Race to Connect.”

“The goal of the Freedom Rings Partnership is to help eliminate the digital divide by enhancing and expanding underserved communities’ knowledge of and access to the Internet so they can acquire information about employment, education, health, and community and economic development, said Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “This project will open doors, enhance lives and create access and job opportunities through technology.”

The Freedom Rings Partnership will reach over 100,000 Philadelphians with information about the importance of broadband to their daily lives; provide hands-on training to 15,000 people at over 130 locations citywide, including 77 public computer centers; and distribute 5,000 “netbooks” to public housing residents who complete technology skills training. Public Computer Centers (PCC) will be located across Philadelphia, primarily in north, south and west Philadelphia.  Locations will include a variety of recreation centers, health and social service organizations, workforce development agencies, and nonprofits. In addition, 4 mobile computer labs will travel throughout the city to provide training and Internet access to underserved communities.

The first Graduation Ceremony for the Freedom Rings Computer Training Program, held Aug. 11, 2011. Each graduate to complete the program walked home with a free Dell netbook computer. Courtesy of GPUAC.

For more information, please visit:

Grandchildren and Grandparents Team up to Increase Digital Literacy in Serbia

In Belgrade, Serbia, there was an unusual event which took place for grandparents and their grandchildren. The event was organized by local NGO IAN (International Aid Network).  Teams were formed, and consisted of a grandparent who was older than 55, together with their grandchild who was younger than 13.

Teams who had previously passed the qualifications had the task to efficiently and as accurately as possible provide numerous / various answers to interesting questions in an online quiz whilst using the internet to search for necessary information.

The contestants showed that grandchildren can play an important role in bridging the digital divide which exists between generations, by teaching their grandparents about the computers as well as the internet.

The most competitive team, winners of the final round, were Darinka Despotovic and her granddaughter Marija Simeunovic, who, for their efforts, won a laptop computer. “We are thrilled to have participated in an event such as this. It means a lot to me to know how to use a computer as one can find a wide spectrum of useful and interesting information on the internet thus extending their knowledge base and broadening their horizons. Even now that I am retired, I am able to participate, while my granddaughter comes to my aid whenever it is required.”

For more information, please visit: