About the Digital Literacy Acquisition Project

This research effort focused on examining the digital literacy acquisition process among vulnerable adult learners who participated in digital literacy programming offered through partnerships in the Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant entitled “Learner Web Partnership: A Multi-State Support System for Broadband Adoption by Vulnerable Adults.” That grant was focused on addressing the barriers to broadband use in vulnerable and digitally excluded populations.

Together, these efforts sought to better understand how individuals (such as low-income adults, unemployed adults, adults without a high school education, immigrants and non-native English speakers, seniors, incarcerated adults and ex-offenders, etc.) acquire digital literacy.

Details about this project are available on the Portland State Archive.

Core research team members in the Digital Literacy Acquisition project were (in alphabetical order): Dr. Jill Castek (Principal Investigator) Research Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics, Dr. Gloria Jacobs, Research Associate, Literacy, Language, and Technology Research Group, Kimberly Pendell, Social Sciences Librarian, Andrew Pizzolato, Digital Literacy Project Coordinator, Dr. Stephen Reder, Professor of Applied Linguistics, and Elizabeth Withers, Graduate Research Associate. Statistical analyses were guided by Dr. Robert Fountain, Department of Mathematics. Transcription, data management, and archiving help was provided by Katherine Winter and Maya Volk. Project management was supported by Jenny Withycombe.

The research team was advised by a National Advisory Committee, a Research Applications Committee, and an external evaluator. Members of the National Advisory Committee and Research Applications Committee represented a variety of professional and educational fields and included practitioners, administrators, and policy watchers and included (in alphabetical order) Juan Carlos Aguirre, Petrice Sams-Abiodun, Michael Crandell, Sherry Drobner, Jon Engle, Cindy Gibbon, Leo Hayden, David Rosen, Jacquie Thomas, Jen Vanek, Heidi Wrigley, and Yong Zhao. The external evaluator was Linda Braun, Project Manager and Consultant from Librarians and Educators Online (LEO).