Digital literacy program available to local high school students

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NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. — Clarkson University and AT&T are partnering up to offer a free program for local underrepresented students, known as the “digital experience.”

The Digital Experience will expose local students to technology skills and college credits focused on the innovation economy. The program is designed to give local underrepresented students early exposure to key concepts of digital literacy theory at Clarkson’s campus in Beacon, NY.

The program will include three classes: infographics: concepts and applications, social media analysis and application and user experience design. The innovative program will also provide local students early exposure to a collegiate academic experience and give them the necessary skills to become competitive workers in the digital economy.

The residential sessions will be held at Clarkson’s Beacon Institute from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on August 21, September 24, and October 22. Course pre-work will be assigned approximately two weeks prior to the residential sessions, which will consist of about five hours of learning. This pre-work is designed to provide all students with baseline knowledge of digital literacy and have the same opportunities to comprehend the material.

Doctor Michael Walsh the Executive Director of the Masters of Science and Engineering Managing program at Clarkson University said these opportunities could help motivate students and give them the necessary skills to become competitive workers in the digital economy and have a large impact on their life.

“If we can arm students at a young age with the tools and skills necessary to acquire this knowledge right from any source and be able to think critically about the application of that knowledge, I think that’s what we should be striving for in the current environment where we find ourselves in,” Walsh said. “That’s part of our responsibility to youth that are coming up, to give them tools to be successful not only in college but in life.”

After completing the session students will have approximately two week to complete their post-work, which is intended to engage each student in the critical thinking process and self reflect. After pre-work, the actual course and post work are completed, students will receive one college level credit per course.

There will also be a second component to the digital experience which offers a gateway to the professional workplace. This component will give upper-level high school students the opportunity to earn certifications in specific knowledge areas such as IT Support, Cybersecurity Analysis, Data Science and more. Each program allows students to move at their own pace and ranges from 100 hours to 200 hours of engagement time.

Clarkson and AT&T are looking for 25 students in grades 9 through 12 to be a part of the program and can register and find qualifications on the Clarkson University website.

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