Need Internet Access and Technology Support? Call a Digital Navigator Today!

By Administrator RSS Thu, February 25, 2021

by Labonno Islam (Digital Engagement & Communications Specialist) and Juliet Fink Yates (Digital Inclusion Fellow), City of Philadelphia Office of Innovation and Technology


In June of 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down traditional spaces like the KEYSPOTs and libraries that were the go-to spaces for many Philadelphians to use a computer and access the internet, the City of Philadelphia launched a pilot Digital Navigator program to support the digital needs of Philadelphians.

A "Digital Navigator" acts as a digital support case manager, who can provide remote one-to-one dedicated support to households who need help accessing and using technology.

Through Digital Literacy Alliance emergency funding, as well as funding from the Knight Foundation and private donors, six organizations are currently offering Digital Navigation services. Each of these organizations has 1) established a Helpline, 2) created a ticketing system to track calls and follow up with callers, and 3) has dedicated staff and interns trained to support Philadelphia residents get connected to the internet and get help with basic digital tasks.

Digital Navigators can help residents: 

  • Sign up for or get help with PHLConnectED, the city’s initiative to ensure all K-12 households have internet access,  
  • Access, apply, and set up affordable and low-cost internet for residents without K-12 students in their household,
  • Obtain low-cost or free computers,
  • Get basic technical support,
  • Troubleshoot internet connectivity issues,
  • Support families on how to use the internet to connect to jobs, telehealth, government services, adult education, e-commerce, and other pressing online needs such as COVID Testing sites or vaccine registration, and
  • Refer individuals to digital literacy training.

With the launch of PHLConnectED in the summer of 2020, we know that many individuals are getting in-home internet or using a MiFi hotspot device for the first time. Digital Navigators can both direct families on how to sign up for PHLConnectED and help them understand how to maintain a stable connection. 

Since the end of June 2020, Digital Navigators have helped over 320 Philadelphians get internet access, a computer, or digital support.

 

How to Reach a Digital Navigator
Any Philadelphia resident who needs digital support can call the locations below to speak to a Digital Navigator. 

If residents call outside of regular hours, they can leave a message for a callback within one to two business days. You can also contact a Digital Navigator via email. 

Community Learning Center (CLC)
Helpline: 215-426-7940 
Hours: Mondays | 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays | 12:30 to 4:30 p.m., and Fridays | 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Email: info@communitylearningcenter.com
Digital Navigator Webpage: https://communitylearningcenter.org/digital-navigators
 

The ExCITe Center at Drexel University
Helpline: 1-267-217-3508
Hours: Monday through Friday | 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Email: navigator@excitecenter.org
Digital Navigator Webpage: https://drexel.edu/excite/engagement/digital-navigators
 

SEAMAAC
Helpline: 215-867-9732
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday | 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Email: digital@seamaac.org
Digital Navigator Webpage: https://seamaac.org/digital-navigation
Live chat translation is available in Spanish. Interpreters are also available for most languages on helpline calls. When leaving a message, callers must include a request to be called back in their preferred language. 


Steppingstone Scholars
Helpline: 302-440-6428 
Hours: Monday through Friday | 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Email: internet@steppingstonescholars.org
Services offered in English and Spanish. 


Inglis Assistive Tech Solutions (IATS)
Helpline: 267-500-1537
Hours: Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Email: navigators@inglis.org
IATS provides digital navigator support for people with disabilities. 
 

LULAC National Education Service Centers (LNESC)
Helpline: 267-341-8591
Hours: Monday through Friday | 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Email: lnescdigi@gmail.com 
Services offered in English and Spanish.


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Sonny Turner - Philadelphia
Tuesday, March 9, 2021