CBAN’s Digital Navigator Program
Digital navigators are trusted guides who assist community members in internet adoption and the use of computing devices. Iowa’s digital navigator will provide no-cost, one-on-one assistance with affordable internet access, device acquisition, technical skills, and application support, including for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) broadband service subsidy.
Our program currently serves three rural counties in Southwest Iowa with higher than average poverty levels and lower than average broadband adoption. The counties served include Taylor, Ringgold, and Decatur. Instruction is delivered both in person and online, with additional modules available for specific additional training in Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and more.
As we build our own pool of resources around this program, we will share program examples and information with our members and through this website. You can learn more about joining CBAN here.
How it works
CBAN works with community-based organizations of all kinds to identify and build support for digital navigation services. They are trusted local partners, key to program success. Our digital skilling curriculum is divided into three tracks, to meet the needs of learners at different levels.
START HERE → Every services client will complete an initial assessment of their digital skills and ability to safely use a computer and the internet.
From there, the Digital Navigator will work with the client to establish personal goals and provide the needed supports around device ownership and access to affordable internet. Once established, the client will pursue one or more of three general tracks, curated to the needs of the individual.
Digital Skills 101
This track is for those whose primary digital activity currently takes place on a mobile device or not at all. This is a barrier to full participation in digital education, healthcare, and job placement, and an entry point to more in-depth learning. Clients in this track will focus on the following:
- Working With Computers
- Navigating Your Device (Windows/Mac)
- Storing and Managing Digital Files
- Internet Basics
- Using Email
Digital Skills for Daily Living
Beyond computer basics, this module emphasizes safety and responsibility in accessing different aspects of the internet.
- Using the Internet
- Internet Basics
- Social Media Safety
- Password and Information Security
- Information Literacy
- Accessing Telemedicine
- Supporting K-12 Distance Learning
- Your Digital Footprint
- Safe File Creation & Management
- Google Drive & Docs
Digital Skills for the Job
There’s more to looking for work online than uploading a resume to a job website. Successful candidates understand the full spectrum of expected skills and actions, and this module will prepare our clients to achieve their own success in accessing career opportunities online.
- Digital Privacy and Safety
- Software for Careers (Microsoft Office/Google Suite)
- Searching for Jobs
- Preparing a Resume, Cover Letter, and References
- Applying and Interviewing
- After the Interview
Meet Brianna Dillavou
We’re proud to share that, after a competitive search, Brianna Dillavou has joined the team as Iowa’s first full time Digital Navigator.
Brianna is a graduate of Northwest Missouri State University. She began her career teaching middle and high school, then transitioned into human services programming and management, including teaching digital skills to individuals with disabilities. Throughout her career, she has worked to improve her community through connecting those in need with substantive opportunities, and advocating for rural populations. A mother of two young children, Brianna is invested in connecting rural Iowa with the tools and resources needed to create opportunities in our communities.
Our program partners
The Community Broadband Action Network Corporation (CBAN Corp.) provides Digital Navigator services at no cost to recipients through a grant from the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) that is part of a $10 million investment from Google.org to establish a national Digital Navigator Corps. It supports the hiring and establishment of 18 community-based digital navigators across the country for three years, through August 2025. CBAN was chosen from dozens of applicants nationwide.
NDIA sub-grantees, including CBAN Corp., will receive programmatic and technical support to further develop NDIA’s digital navigator model for rural and Tribal communities. The program will help thousands of Iowa residents to gain much-needed access to the internet, devices, and digital skills training.
National Digital Inclusion Alliance: NDIA advances digital equity by supporting community programs and equipping policymakers to act. Working collaboratively with more than 850 digital inclusion practitioners, NDIA advocates for broadband access, tech devices, digital skills training, and tech support. Find more information and join the NDIA community at digitalinclusion.org. To learn more about the Digital Navigator Corps pilot program, visit digitalinclusion.org/dn.
Google.org: Google.org supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change.
The 18 National Digital Navigator Corps grantees are:
Alaska Federation of Natives, AK (Tribal-led)
Cayuse Native Solutions, OR (Tribal-led)
Cherokee Nation Tribe, OK (Tribal-led)
Community Broadband Action Network Corp, IA
Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc., AL
Computer Reach, PA
Easter Seals of Greater Houston, Inc., TX
Forest County Broadband Committee, WI (serving Tribal communities)
Gila River Broadcasting Corporation: Digital Connect Initiative, AZ (Tribal-led)
Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, OH
Hoopa Valley Public Utilities District, CA (Tribal-led)
Lummi Indian Business Council, WA (Tribal-led)
National Digital Equity Center, ME (serving Tribal communities)
Northwestern Ohio Community Action Commission, OH
Pottsboro Area Public Library, TX
Pueblo of Jemez, NM (Tribal-led)
Shaping Our Appalachian Region, Inc., KY
Washington State University Extension Grays Harbor County, WA (serving Tribal communities)
The three "A"s of digital equity and the ACP
When we think about broadband, there's much more than construction to consider. The three "A"s of digital equity are:
In addition to federal, state, and local efforts to expand broadband networks and creation of programs like the Digital Navigator to support adoption, the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) offers $30-$75 per month to help assure that qualifying households can afford reliable internet access in their homes, and up to $100 towards an internet-ready device. To learn more, click here.