Digital Learning Community Engagement Project

This project promotes access to digital tools and just in time digital learning instruction for adults at the Burnaby Neighbourhood House. Adults drop in with all kinds of questions, some stay a few minutes; others attend each week. The goal is to reduce digital inequalities and to support people to feel confident using digital tools in an inclusive community setting. SFU students and community members work as volunteer tutors and laptops, desktops and tablets are solicited by donation.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Suzanne Smythe

What's Proposed

While libraries and schools provide invaluable access to the Internet, many adults need extra help and one-to-one support to learn to use computers with confidence. We strive to offer just-in-time digital literacy support, and to create relationships with community members as digital citizens. The project is now exploring how to incorporate digital storytellling in BNH programs.  

How This Project is Carried Out

We work in collaboration with the Burnaby Neighbourhood House and draw on the advice and support of the Burnaby Public Library, local community centres and other members of the Burnaby Now LIteracy Roundtable.

Why This Project Matters

Many people cannot afford Internet connections in their homes, or to maintain a functioning computer. Many others are not confident to use digital tools and need more one-to-one support and sustained practice. The Community Engagement project aims to address these access issues to promote democratic citizenship, social inclusion and advocacy for digital equity. 

How This Project is Put into Action

The Burnaby Neighbourhood House provides the location and Internet connection, volunteer tutors are recruited from the community, and SFU provides the digital tools (newer computers and tablets), snacks, and tutor training.

Where to Learn More

For more information about the project, contact Suzanne Smythe at