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Frequently asked questions: Digital Literacy Exchange Program

From Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Who does this program serve?

The Digital Literacy Exchange Program serves Canadians who are newly involved with, or haven't fully discovered the benefits of, the current digital economy. These include:

  • Persons with disabilities
  • Indigenous people
  • Individuals who have not completed high school
  • Residents of rural and remote areas
  • Language Minorities
  • Individuals who have low-income
  • Individuals aged 65 and older
  • Newcomers to Canada
  • Individuals who don't speak English at home
What type of digital literacy skills will be taught?

The Digital Literacy Exchange Program will invest in initiatives that will teach fundamental digital literacy skills that are needed to use the Internet on computers and/or mobile devices, and the knowledge required to use the Internet safely, securely and effectively. Some examples include:

  • the ability to use computer programs such as word processors, web browsers, email and other communication tools;
  • the ability to access and use knowledge resources, such as search engines and online databases; and
  • the ability to access emerging technologies such as cloud computing.
How many Canadians will benefit from this program?

Approximately 100,000 Canadians will benefit from these initiatives from coast to coast to coast. Many other Canadians will also indirectly benefit from these initiatives by accessing online training materials and through the program's train-the-trainer legacy.

Where will digital literacy training be offered?

Various digital literacy training initiatives will be available in locations across Canada. Visit the list of funded initiatives by provinces and territories page for a list of learning opportunities by location.

When will digital literacy training be offered?

Digital Literacy Exchange Program initiatives will start early in 2019 and will end by March 31, 2022. For more information regarding training initiatives in your region visit the list of funded initiatives, where you will find the contact information for delivery organizations.

How were the organizations that are going to deliver digital literacy training selected?

The delivery organizations were selected through a competitive process and were assessed against criteria such as their success in providing similar training in the past, the quality of the proposed training and how well it meets the needs of the target population. Organizations were also evaluated on their alignment with program objectives so that all Canadians have the necessary skills to get online using computers, mobile devices and the Internet safely and effectively. There was a lot of interest in the program and over 150 applications were received from across Canada. A diverse portfolio of organizations will deliver digital literacy training across the country, ranging from small community-based groups to national organizations.

How will the government know if this is helping Canadian's get online?

The Digital Literacy Exchange program will track the progress of each project through regular reporting requirements throughout the life of the project. This program is one of a suite of complementary programs that together, will help ensure that all Canadians have the skills and know-how to access online resources and participate in the digital economy. For example,

  • There's the CanCode program, which will give one million students from kindergarten to grade 12, and their teachers, the opportunity to learn coding and other digital skills. CanCode events are being held in every province and territory in Canada, with a focus on reaching traditionally under-represented groups – such as girls and Indigenous Peoples, disabled or at-risk youth.
  • The Computers for Schools (CFS) program provides refurbished computers to schools, libraries, not-for-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and eligible low-income individuals. The CFS program has donated more than 1.6 million computers and supported over 6,900 youth interns over its 25 years of operation.
  • And there's the Connecting Families initiative that is providing hundreds of thousands of Canadians with access to high speed Internet packages for $10 per month and up to 50,000 free computers to eligible low-income households.
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