It used to be that an added attraction on my resume wasliteracy in a few romance languages, particularly Spanish. While that certainly remains a hot and highly marketable skill, DSL is running over it like a Mack truck. Don't be silly, I'm nottalking bandwidth here. DSL is Digital as a Second Language.

For all the Microsoft woes some may spew, there exists a FREE Digital Literacy Certificate via their Corporate Citizenship program. It began in October 2007 and you don't here much about it in the for profit world. They probably didn't call it a DSL certificate because Bill didn't want it confused with connectivity. But, I think that was a mistake because it has everything to do with connectivity and opening doors.

The Digital Literacy Certificate you can earn comes after 12-16 hours of study. It can becompleted alone or facilitated by an instructor in thosefortunate communities that offer it. The curriculumconsists of subject matter you and I could teachin our sleep yet millions of people have no clue about. They are not tapped into the vast knowledge base and resources digital literacy provides.

One Laptop Per Childis an awesome program Idon't want to stop. Learning and putting an end todigital literacy inequality is a very honorable goalindeed. I want morewhere I live too though.

The local Area Agency on Aging has a fantastic program that places older workers in non-profit jobs and pays the salary. My place of employment has had a "Senior Aide" for 2 years. When I came on-board in April I wondered who the woman always reading a Romance novel was. I learned she was there to work but in an effort to go green and reduce costs, envelope stuffing had been largely eliminated and there wasn't much for her to do.

I spoke with our nicereading is fun under utilized office gnome and asked about her computer skills. She was wide-eyed and mortified. I called the Agency and spoke with the placement specialist. He told me something I already knew. Older Baby Boomers andthe Silent Generation largely lack in the area of digital literacy. They offer voluntary programs to address it but participation is low.

Could that be due to lack of promotion and incentives for participating, I asked rhetorically? He offered to find a client with basic computer skills. I have yet to hear back.

I'm going to start using DSL in my signature andI'm recommending you do too. Even though we run in the digital world it's a skill not to be taken for granted.

Karla Porter, DSL

Oh, and since I found that fancy custom character, I'm using it on every original term I coin even if it's just for tracking purposes and to feel important.


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