Digital Awareness for Refugees

Refugees learn how to use technology during a digital literacy class at their local resettlement office. IRC/Ethan Fichtner

The use of digital technology is an important component of daily life in the United States, from staying connected with family and friends to applying for employment or completing school assignments. While refugees arriving to the United States may have a range of experience with digital technology, there are certain basic digital skills which could benefit all refugees. Cultivating these skills will ultimately contribute to self-sufficiency.

Download Lesson Plan
  • Refugees may encounter digital technology in many different settings as they resettle into their new communities, including accessing public benefits and community-based services, searching for jobs, managing finances and banking, engaging with their Resettlement Agency or the school, and submitting changes in address.
  • Basic digital skills that would benefit refugees to develop include setting up an email account and navigating the internet.
  • Other digital skills that may be advantageous for refugees to develop include, how to apply for jobs online, paying bills online, scheduling appointments, and accessing school websites and language learning resources.
  • Refugees should understand there are risks in accessing digital technology and should learn how to mitigate some of these risks, including accessing reputable online resources, identifying scams, and not sharing private information on nonsecure websites.

After this lesson, refugees will be able to:

  • List ways they may encounter digital technology in the United States as a part of their resettlement process, including, accessing public benefits, managing finances and banking, searching and applying for jobs, engaging with school, and submitting changes in address.
  • Identify basic actions to take to develop their digital competency, which at a minimum should include setting up and using email.
  • Explain potential risks and consequences that they may face when using digital technology.
  • Identify reputable online resources they may need to access during their resettlement.
  • Digital Awareness for Refugees fact sheet (1 per participant) (optional) or podcast (optional) 
  • Computer with projector (optional) 
  • Flip-chart 
  • Post-it notes 
  • Markers