What digital literacy skills are important for workforce today?
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What digital literacy skills are important for workforce today?
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Incorporating Digital Literacy into traditional curriculum
Community Broadband Adoption Impact & Sustainability Conference (CBAIS) - http://www.connectcommunity.org/cbais/ is June 27-28, 2011. What digital inclusion topics would you like to see covered at the conference?
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The Housing Authority of San Bernardino, in partnership with the Career Institute National Federation Center, is using a 12-week workforce training program to improve digital literacy among low-income residents, and teach basic computer skills and online job search techniques. The Housing Authority is also hosting job training classes and job search/resume workshops at its computer centers, teaching participants interviewing skills, and best practices for filling out online applications.
Additionally, the Housing Authority supports computer labs across various community centers in the San Bernardino City Unified school district. Operated by the Top Flight Education and Sports Organization, the computer labs are open Monday through Thursday afternoon to assist children with homework and other school-related projects. All of these Housing Authority programs are made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
A new pilot program that aims to improve access to electronic textbooks for students with disabilities announced today that it has received funds from the U.S. Department of Education.
The funding will be used over the next two years to support the Student E-rent Pilot Project (STEPP). STEPP is a collaborative program with support from electronic textbook provider CourseSmart, the University of Georgia Alternative Media Access Center and AccessText Network, a nationwide organization that supports the delivery of alternative textbooks to Disabled Student Services offices at colleges throughout the country.
The Inland Northwest Community Access Network (Tincan) is providing digital media training and workshops at its new media lab and film production facility in Spokane, Wash. Students of all ages are taught film production skills including camera techniques, industry-level editing software, and sound production fundamentals. Tincan offers other digital media and career building training classes that span across skill levels including computer basics, editing fundamentals for home movies, web development, marketing with Facebook, and blogging basics. The new space also houses Tincan’s offices, a 32-computer media lab, and a full professional video production studio.
Tincan is enhancing Internet connectivity across the Spokane Public Library system and various community centers. The project has distributed computers and software for public use to Peaceful Valley Community Center, Northeast Community Center, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach Center. These locations and others will provide Internet access to low-income Spokane residents including at-risk and homeless youth and people with disabilities who do not otherwise have access and new spaces where Tincan can provide training in Internet skills. This project was made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The Computers for Youth Foundation (CFY) is teaching digital literacy courses to families in high-poverty middle schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Known as Family Learning Workshops, these bilingual classes teach low-income students and their parents about the educational uses of home technology and broadband including how to use this technology to improve learning and motivation. Parents and students are encouraged to work together and commit to an ongoing home learning effort.
Through this program, CFY provides participating families with a broadband-ready Home Learning Center, broadband enrollment guidance, and access to high-quality, online educational software focused on math, English, social studies, and science. CFY also provides training to teachers on leveraging educational software to extend learning into the home and drive student achievement. This program is made possible with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and information Administration.
The Cambridge Housing Authority (CHA) is teaching digital literacy courses at three public computer centers to help people conduct online job searches, prepare resumes, and submit resumes to potential employers. CHA is offering five-week advanced computer classes and 15-week basic computer skills classes to local residents, including training in use of Microsoft Office® productivity software and conducting online job searches. The 15-week courses offer specialized classes on digital editing and publishing software. CHA offers other services, such as the digital enhancement of its Gateway English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course and its family literacy and support program, Reading on Computers with Kids.
Additionally, CHA is expanding the digital component of its Work Force program, which provides comprehensive life-skills and vocational training for low-income youth. Participants receive academic tutoring, academic testing prep work, and mentored employment opportunities from eighth grade through their senior year of high school. Students use the computer labs to develop resumes, fill out job applications, and perform college searches. All of these programs are made possible with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Digital illiteracy is a barrier to community participation and family progress for many adults across the country. The Mexican Institute of Greater Houston (MIGH) addresses this digital divide and also focuses on populations with an added barrier: English is their second language. MIGH’s goal is to engage these populations, as well as improve broadband adoption rates in the Greater Houston, Beaumont, Dallas, and San Antonio areas through broadband outreach and training for Hispanic and minority communities. The project is utilizing its network of over 100 existing community centers, many located at K-12 public schools in the region, to conduct basic computer technology training sessions in Spanish for students and their families, as well as expanding the network to accommodate the program’s growth and development.
MIGH programs enrich the lives of Hispanic adults through education. Classes at Keeble Early Childhood/Pre-K Center began in February 2011. Students at the center are primarily young mothers who want to learn how to use computers. The skills learned in the class help the mothers participate more actively in their children’s education and develop their own lives. Any MIGH student can also go to the Mendenhall computer laboratory for courses in basic computer skills, such as how to use word processing software, navigate the Internet, and open an e-mail account.
Additionally, MIGH’s computer center open labs allow visitors to gain additional computer practice and knowledge. Instructors and tutors typically are selected from MIGH program graduates and receive additional instruction through program instructor/tutor classes. These individuals have the additional opportunity to apply their newly acquired skills to teaching others. One former student is a teacher by trade but her disability made it difficult for her to find a job. She has enthusiastically enrolled to receive training to become a MIGH on-line tutor. These are just a few of the many success stories from MIGH’s training classes, where students are gaining marketable workforce skills.
Las Vegas – Clark County Urban League (LVUL) is teaching digital literacy courses at 15 new and 14 refurbished computer centers across the city to help people develop computer and workforce skills. The Nevada Public Computer Centers (NPCC) offers courses on a variety of topics including Microsoft Office® software, Internet fundamentals, and communicating through e-mail and Skype. The center also provides one-on-one help for students working on class projects as well as senior citizens learning how to use technology to stay in contact with their families.
The 15 percent unemployment rate in Las Vegas is difficult on the community, especially those residents who lack computer skills. To improve digital literacy and help people find employment, NPCC offers classes in online job searches, resume creation, and interview preparation. The project’s digital literacy training is already making an immediate impact on residents. Julia Mann, a Las Vegas woman, had been unemployed for two years and living in a shelter with her son. Now, after completing an NPCC computer course and working with one of the Center’s job advisors, she is gainfully employed.
This program is made possible with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
OneCommunity’s “Connect Your Community” project provides digital literacy training to citizens across several cities including Cleveland and Akron, Ohio; Detroit, Mich.; Lexington, Ky.; and Bradenton, Fla. Aimed at expanding broadband adoption in low-income communities, the program teaches participants computer basics, Internet fundamentals, online safety and privacy tips, and software functionality. Participants must also develop an adoption plan, mapping out a personal approach and timeline to acquiring access to broadband and regularly using a computer.
Additionally, the project is partnering with non-profit and community organizations to implement neighbor-to-neighbor digital literacy training and broadband adoption. The program recruits and trains unemployed and underemployed residents of each community to work as members of a “CYC Corps” charged with teaching computer skills and increasing broadband awareness to other community members.
The ultimate goal of the project is to provide digital literacy training and services to approximately 33,000 people. This project was made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
MyWay Village is teaching digital literacy courses at computer centers in 16 senior citizen housing communities across Northern Illinois. Besides access to computer labs, MyWay Village offers residents computer training classes on a variety of topics including computer basics, Internet fundamentals, advanced Internet searching techniques, Microsoft Office® software tips, and webpage design. As an added incentive, individuals who complete 12 hours of training receive a free personal computer.
Additionally, MyWay Village holds weekly interactive discussion groups where community residents can talk and learn computer and Internet basics from each other. The organization, which is in the process of changing its name to ConnectedLiving, Inc., helps residents use digital technology to connect with family members, access health information online, and exercise using YouTube dance videos. MyWay Village also, in collaboration with local Workforce Investment Act organizations, helps seniors leverage their new digital literacy skills to find part-time work.
This project was made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The City of Boston is combining digital literacy training with access to computers, the Internet, and software to help residents of the city’s lowest-income and lowest broadband adoption areas. The City’s goal is to provide 627 new computers and job training software at 48 locations including 15 community centers, 11 Boston Housing Authority (BHA) sites, and 22 libraries. Future computer centers will feature similar software as well as programs geared toward health education. Computers at local library branches will also provide literacy training and email access.
The new computer center at the Mildred Avenue Community Center in Mattapan, Mass., is a good example of the City’s efforts. The Community Center has 15 new state-of-the-art desktops and fiber-optic cable, allowing visitors to surf the Internet on the city’s new broadband network. The new desktops also feature cutting edge software allowing participants to gain basic work skills online, study for the state’s standards-based assessment program, and access multimedia to produce videos and other art.
When the City of Boston project is complete, nearly 18,000 people a week will be able to access broadband Internet as well as software designed for various subject matters, including workforce development, after-school education, and gang intervention-conflict resolution workshops. This project is made possible from funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The Coppin Heights-Rosemont Family Computer Center serves a low-income West Baltimore community with a high minority population and offers 15 training and educational courses on such topics as basic and advanced computer techniques, job training, financial literacy, health information, entrepreneurship, nonprofit administration, and global education.
The Center, established by Coppin State University, will provide a summer technology camp for elementary and middle school students. Aimed at students of all age levels, the camp will provide basic, intermediate, and advanced computer training workshops covering a wide-variety of topics. This project is made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The Santa Fe Civic Housing Authority (SFCHA) offers daily computer skills and educational classes at its new Hopewell Community Center/Public Computer Center in addition to English as a second language, computer, and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) classes.
The new center’s goal is to offer broadband access and computer training to low-income families, minorities, and disadvantaged youth as well as disabled and elderly Santa Fe residents. This project is made possible by funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
The Monroe Housing Authority (MHA) is providing digital literacy and workforce development courses to residents of its housing community. MHA created the Family Self-Sufficiency Program (FSS), an interactive educational assistance program designed to help Section 8 residents become independent and self-supporting. The program provides services such as academic tutoring, academic testing prep work, and basic and advanced computer training to help residents achieve a variety of educational goals including obtaining a GED, college degree, or vocational and technical certifications. Participants also have access to computers, the Internet, child care assistance, transportation, and career counseling.
The program is making an immediate impact on its residents including Temika Benton. Without a high school diploma Temika discovered that her career opportunities were limited. Temika took a job at a fast-food restaurant for minimum wage and moved into the Burg Jones Lane family housing community. She soon discovered that this was not a dead-end road, but an opportunity. The adult education center located in the property’s community room had a very flexible class schedule and allowed her to work at her own pace. The computers and educational software coupled with her generous and compassionate educator, Anthony Garcia, provided a structured and positive atmosphere for her to develop self-discipline and achieve her goals. Using these resources, Temika received her GED and was able to obtain a management position at the restaurant. But that’s just the beginning of the story. MHA’s property manager, James Johnson, encouraged her to go further and set new goals. She took his advice and is now enrolled in Delta Vocational and Technical School.
All of these programs are made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee offers digital literacy training at Neighborhood Network Centers across six of its housing communities. Each Neighborhood Network Center offers a variety of computer skills and workforce development classes including GED preparation, computer basics, Microsoft Office® productivity software fundamentals, homework help, and online job search techniques. In addition, the centers provide residents with free access to state-of-the-art computers and Internet.
The impact of these centers can be felt across multiple housing communities. Aelicia Patterson received her GED and won a Founder’s Fund Award from Milwaukee Achiever’s for a photography business that she started on after developing computers skills from training provided by the Cherry Court Neighborhood Networks lab. Eric Griffin moved to Milwaukee from Alabama after Hurricane Katrina. After improving his computer skills at the Cherry Court Neighborhood Networks Center, Mr. Griffin gained adminision as a Biotechnology student at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Shalaya Morehouse started coming to Carver Park Neighborhood Network Center five years ago. Her initial visit was to improve her computers skills so she could get a job. After taking computer courses in Microsoft Office® software and website design, Ms. Morehouse was able to obtain an Associate’s degree in Human Services from Milwaukee Area Technical College.
All of these programs are made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.