Sixty million Americans do not know how to use the Internet. The ability to open a browser, conduct a search, send an email or connect with an old friend on a social network are all too often taken for granted. Engaging in some of these online activities may not seem critical, but they are fundamental to one’s participation in the information economy. Online skills are not only necessary for seeking, applying for and getting today’s jobs, but also to take advantage of the growing educational, civic and healthcare advances spurred by broadband.
TRAIL is an online education company dedicated to bringing people their first experience with the Internet. We partner with libraries, schools, social services offices, workforce development centers, and other trusted public institutions to offer our courses and features online. We built JobScout as a way for first-time Internet users to get access to digital literacy skills while allowing them to perform an essential task for many in today’s economy, finding work.
What is JobScout?
JobScout, an online platform designed to get people back to work, teaches necessary Internet skills and job-hunting techniques. JobScout uses social game design to engage users in self-paced, online activities that focus on Internet skills applied in a real life context. Users master these skills to apply online for jobs and use JobScout’s social network to collaborate with each other on and offline.
JobScout boasts a custom resume builder and built-in job search function. Users earn badges for completing interactive lessons on everything from using Internet browsers to how to create social network profiles and use them to gain employment. The platform provides opportunities for users to immediately apply the skills they have learned. JobScout also features the “One-Stop Job Shop,” a tool that allows users to manage their job application process right through our website.
JobScout is currently provided in two languages, English and Spanish. JobScout is also available for iOS and Android.
Why Did We Use Game Design? People Love Games.
Sixty-seven percent of American households play games. Learning digital literacy and Internet skills should be fun and engaging. The badges, points, and other game elements of JobScout provide users opportunities to experience a sense of accomplishment in learning new abilities and completing tasks. This has worked well with offline training programs.
This is not just about playing a game for the sake of playing a game. Rather than playing a game just to win, JobScout will lead users through activities where the results will be that they 1) have completed a resume, 2) successfully uploaded it, 3) can use online databases to find a job and 4) are collaborating and networking online with peers.
Frequently Asked Questions About JobScout by New Internet Users
I don’t have the Internet. Where can I find JobScout?
JobScout is being used by libraries, school districts, workforce development centers, and community organizations across the United States and is moving internationally. Users can access JobScout 24/7 online by visiting myjobscout.org. For our users who are on the go, the JobScout mobile application can be found in the iTunes and Google Play stores.
Can I use JobScout from Home?
With a home Internet connection, it’s very simple to begin scouting on JobScout. Just follow these easy steps:
- Go to our website, myJobScout.org.
- Sign up in a snap. Signing up for JobScout is so easy, you could be done by now. Only limited personal information is required, and we will not use your information for anything other than helping you find work.
- Take lessons. Make progress. For every lesson you complete, you'll earn a badge. JobScout lets you track your progress and access games to reinforce the skills you learn.
- Find Work. Fully armed with the know-how and confidence to use the Internet to its fullest potential, you'll be on the path to finding work.
Christina Gagnier is a founder and CEO of JobScout (by TRAIL), a unique online platform that teaches people how to use the Internet to find work. Christina is committed to crafting innovative education solutions to help the millions of Americans who are not yet online and to work towards solving the unemployment crisis.
Christina has been at the forefront of efforts to bring awareness to online consumer rights, working on initiatives such as the Social Network Users’ Bill of Rights and on issues such as privacy rights and cybersecurity. Christina currently serves on the Board of Directors of Without My Consent, working to protect and provide a path to justice for victims of online harassment.
Christina is also a partner in the firm Gagnier Margossian LLP, leading its technology and Internet practice.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education are working together to encourage effective collaborations between libraries and federally funded adult education programs. The goal of this joint effort is to enhance the skills, employability, and quality of life of youths and adults with low skills.
On December, 18, 2014, from 1-2:30 pm (Eastern) IMLS and OCTAE will host the webinar “Reboot your Digital Strategy.” This webinar supports state and local level efforts to cross-train staff on digital literacy and builds awareness about national and regional Internet access expansion efforts.
The webinar will feature a welcome by Susan H. Hildreth, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services and a panel of representatives from the IMLS, OCTAE, and Everyone On. Learn how your library and adult education program can take advantage of national developments in digital literacy. See JobScout showcased. Register now!
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