NDEC Volunteer Tutor Program
Before the pandemic, the National Digital Equity Center provided digital literacy classes in libraries, adult education, and other community settings throughout Maine. The most popular class we taught was Introduction to Computers. Many of those who flocked to libraries and community centers had never used any type of computer or device, or had limited skills and did not use them to their full capacity. We saw the need especially among older Mainers for continued one-on-one interaction to assist them with using computers at the libraries or devices that they owned. We launched a volunteer tutoring program and then the pandemic hit…
The National Digital Equity Center moved all of its free classes to an online, interactive format, but we knew those older Mainers who we served with our introductory classes could not participate as they had neither the devices nor the internet access at their homes and were now more isolated than ever. So we did something about it. From the start of the pandemic, with the help of many partners, we have put tablets and computers into the hands of Mainers and taught them how to use them through a program of online tutoring by both NDEC staff and volunteers. We have helped individuals connect with loved ones, continue with their own volunteer commitments, do telehealth appointments, apply for jobs, pursue higher education goals, and take many of our NDEC online digital literacy program. What is clear to us is that we can still do so much more with your help.
Will You Help Break Down the Digital Divide?
Perhaps you are someone who has benefited from our Affordable Devices Programs and were able to use a tablet or a laptop/desktop computer we provided you without need for assistance or you know someone whose participation in this program and our online tutoring made all the difference in the world to them. If you are interested in becoming an NDEC Volunteer Tutor, we are interested in talking to you. All NDEC Volunteer tutors must have internet access at their residence sufficient to participate in Zoom classes and tutoring. However, we supply the device – either a Samsung Android wireless tablet or a Windows 10 computer – which is yours to keep after you’ve completed a specific number of tutoring and training hours.
Requirements of the NDEC Volunteer Tutoring Program
Our volunteers can participate as little or as much as they like; from one hour a week to several hours each month. There is also no required length of service. Each participant in the NDEC Volunteer Tutoring Program is asked to complete the following before being assigned one or more tuturees:
- The NDEC Enrollment Registration Form at digitalequitycenter.org/enroll.
- A Volunteer Packet which includes our Confidentiality Agreement and Code of Conduct. All NDEC Staff and Volunteers are bound by this Code of Conduct – click here to read.
- Pass a Maine State Background Check & National Sex Offender Registry Check
- Complete a one-hour volunteer orientation and the online class “Improve Digital Literacy for Free With NDEC!”
- A short series of assessments to determine your digital literacy strengths.
- A tutor shadowing program which trains you in best practices for digital literacy tutoring.
If you are interested in exploring becoming an NDEC Volunteer Tutor, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore this volunteer opportunity.