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Digital Inclusion Leadership Certificate Curriculum Summary

Module 1- Introduction to Digital Inclusion (2 weeks)

Digital inclusion basics and the landscape; why digital inclusion matters (impacts for economic development, education, health, and civic engagement); and lessons from national models.

Case studies: Detroit (digital inclusion) and Ft. Collins, CO (broadband)

  • Week 1 – review content
  • Week 2 – discussions and assignments

Module 2 – Network Technology Basics (2 weeks)

Introduction to broadband; wireline technologies; optical fiber technology; satellite technology; wireless technologies; wireless applications; and last mile applications (community wireless, mesh networks, community wi-fi).

Case study: Cleveland (community Wi-Fi)

  • Week 1 – review content
  • Week 2 – discussions and assignments

Module 3 – Evaluating Digital Inclusion Community Resources (4 weeks)

Getting started: planning and coalition-building (introduction to planning, the role of states, asset mapping, aligning interests, and building partnerships through community funders).

Digital inclusion ecosystems (community anchor institutions; HBCUs, Hispanic-serving and Tribal colleges and universities; libraries; housing agencies; community broadband networks; alternative funding streams).

Resources for planning and evaluation (introduction to broadband mapping; poles, attachments and other infrastructure legal issues; FCC and American Community Survey data; utilizing available data; program data; program evaluation Part I: planning from the start).

Case study: Tech Goes Home, Boston

  • Weeks 1 and 2 – review content
  • Week 3 – discussions and assignments

Module 4 – Digital Inclusion Policy Foundations (2 weeks)

Federal agencies; a history of digital inclusion programs; E-rate; Bipartisan Infrastructure Act/Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA); Broadband Data Act; Affordable Connectivity Program; anchor institutions and broadband policy for the future; and current and future policy opportunities.

  • Week 1 – review content
  • Week 2 – discussions and assignments

Module 5 – Impacts and Applications (2 weeks)

Program evaluation Part II: measuring impacts

Social impacts (workforce development; diversity in tech; aging in place; accessible technology for all; reducing the unbanked).

Community impacts (smart cities; smart energy; Tribal broadband; sustainable communities; rural broadband).

Case study: Gila River Indian Community

  • Week 1 – review content
  • Week 2 – discussions and assignments