Another Successful Week of Computer Training

Another Successful Week of Computer Training

  • Posted on: 8 March 2008
  • By: Colin

17 more Mac and PC computers were distributed today at the end of another successful week of training sessions at CCTV!

There is one more week of computer training for our digital divide project, an effort with the City of Cambridge, Cambridge Housing Authority, Tutoring Plus and other local organizations.

Students from the High School were also on hand today to shoot video footage for a short documentary they are producing about the project for Cambridge Educational Access.

Participants pictured above learned about their PC computers in CCTV's television studio. Training Coordinator, Matt Landry led the session with Selma Nane providing support.

I was next door in computerCENTRAL with 6 Mac participants who at the end of the training took their computers home. During the sessions today, participants learned about our webpage for the project, entitled "Online Resources for Newtowne Court Residents". On this page we hope to provide resources, including troubleshooting and other educational materials, that will be helpful for participants using their new computers.

Next week marks the last official training session at CCTV for the project. We are looking forward to following up with participants to learn more about their experiences with their new computers and accessing the municipal wireless Internet network at Newtowne Court. We are pleased to say that the network has been a wonderful success for this project so far.

(Photo above by Selma Nane for CCTV available under a Creative Commons license)


This is fantastic! So, 24 computers have gone out? Are any of you new computer users reading this blog? We'd like an update from you!

I look forward to our next meeting and hearing about the people who have stepped forward to be trained, and to receive computers. ... about their prior experience with computers, about what they said they were hoping to gain from computer access, etc. We all have preconceived notions about who would be interested and why, but there's nothing like data to cut through assumptions.

The total number of computers that have gone out so far is closer to 30. Because I am not at work today, I do not have the total numbers in front of me. An additional 10 computers, I believe, are going out this Saturday.

I am also looking forward to our next meeting to share my experience working with participants in this project. In the meantime, I can say that the prior experiences of participants with computers is quite varied. The majority of participants have had little or no previous training. Therefore, less than half of all participants have only had some exposure to the Internet.

I am concerned that distributing computers with even the brief training that we are able to provide in this program is not enough. We have already been thinking about ways to provide additional computer training to those who have completed the 3 training sessions provided.

One idea, for Mac participants, is to provide an Intro to Mac OSX class to allow participants to spend more time learning the basics now that they can practice at home on their computers. A similar class for PC recipients would be very helpful, as well.

Whatever the agreed upon strategy is moving forward, we will need to continue to encourage participants to make use of additional educational resources. This will involve frequent contact with participants to make sure that no one is left behind even after they have received their computers and access to the Internet.