The Blandin Foundation's Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) Digital Literacy training is a series of free self-guided lessons designed to teach basic computer skills within the context of job search and career enhancement. These skills are based on the skills defined by the Northstar Digital Literacy Task Force and cover: basic computer, Internet, email, word processing and the Microsoft Windows™ Operating System.

The self-guided, scenario-based lessons provide learners with the opportunity to learn how to use a computer in a safe and supportive environment. These lessons are currently being used by Adult Basic Education (ABE) teachers, librarians, colleges and WorkForce Center staff, to provide digital literacy training to clients with minimal oversight required.

The Blandin MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities) digital literacy training was created through a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote digital literacy training throughout greater Minnesota. These lessons were created to correspond to the digital literacy categories and skills defined by the Northstar Digital Literacy Task Force and to be a resource to be shared by employers & employees, those in need of digital skills to obtain employment, or to enhance their digital knowledgebase to create competitive advantage in the workforce.

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To capture the program specifics and introduce the programs lasting effects, we have gathered together several partners and program participants to give a better idea of how the program works; what are the specifics of the learning technologies; and how the program is able to be integrated and used by other programs to create a stronger workforce in greater Minnesota.

Enjoy the Video Interviews!

[Note: These videos will soon include Closed Caption. ]



DEED Director

Connie Ireland of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), Director in the Office of Strategic Partnerships and Innovation provides an overview of the funding, background, partnership structure, purpose of the initiative, outcomes and opportunities for individuals that have been realized through the development and implementation of the MIRC Digital Literacy curriculum and Blandin partnership.


Digital Literacy Program Designer/Programmer

Laura Nedved Consultant for technical design and content development, presents the overview of the self-guided lessons designed to teach basic computer skills within the context of job search and career enhancement.


JUANITA LAURITSEN : Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council Executive Director

Juanita Lauritsen is the Executive Director of the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council (SWMNPIC), which encompasses 14 counties in southwest Minnesota. She discusses her organization, its role in the need for digital literacy skills, and the opportunities created as a partner to build access and awareness to the resource tools that the MIRC Digital Literacy training provides for jobseekers.


JEANNE COLWELL & STUDENT : Digital Literacy Program

Jean Colwell is an instructor with Adult Basic Education (ABE), and is joined by one of her students to discuss their experience with the digital literacy curriculum both from an instructional standpoint and from a student's perspective. They both provide testimonials about their experiences with the curriculum, the difference it is making in peoples' lives, and the relevance and importance of digital literacy. 


CARMAN MILLS : Program Manager, SW Adult Basic Education (ABE) - Granite Falls Region

Carman Mills is a Program Manager, with Southwest Adult Basic Education (ABE) - Granite Falls Region. Carman discusses her organization, ABE regional coordination, the need for digital literacy and what she sees for the future. 


TERRY SULLIVAN : Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council Job Counselor

Terry Sullivan is a Job Counselor with the Southwest Minnesota Private Industry Council. Terry discusses the need for the digital literacy curriculum and how it will assist the clients that she works for.


TERESA KITTRIDGE: Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace

Teresa Kittridge of MNREM Minnesota Renewable Energy Marketplace shares best practices as a MIRC statewide partner focusing on businesses in rural MN and the demand for digital literacy skills for employees. 


Hosted By : MNREM

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • What skills are taught in the MIRC Digital Literacy training;
  • How to access the lessons for clients who need basic computer skills;
  • How to "quick link" to specific skills based on client needs;
  • What additional resources are provided and how these might be used in your organization;
  • How the digital literacy training corresponds to the Creative Job Search Workshop and to the Northstar Digital Literacy Standards.

You will also learn about updates being made to the MIRC Digital Literacy Training and have the opportunity to view a demonstration of the lessons.


Hosted By : MNREM

A Digital Literacy Webinar PowerPoint™.

We have provided the PowerPoint in two versions for your convenience. Please click on your format of choice to download to your desktop and enjoy.



MIRC – Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities is a coalition of 19 statewide partners and 11 demonstration communities funded in large part through an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. The work of the coalition focuses on bringing the full promise of broadband technologies to rural Minnesota communities, businesses and people. Blandin Foundation serves as the project administrator. More about MIRC is available

Minnesota Workforce Council Association | 125 Charles Avenue, Saint Paul, MN  55103-2108 | Phone 651-789-4323, Fax 651-224-6540  | Anne (Olson) Kilzer, Director

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