For Digital Inclusion Week in Austin, CTN held a series of events called Tech Teach-Ins. These events match corporate volunteers with community members looking to improve their digital skills and take advantage of what their digital devices can offer.
AT&T was invited to provide mobile device training to residents of North Loop Apartments, a 100-household senior property owned by the Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA). A dozen residents learned to use the Ride Austin app on their smartphones. The volunteers demonstrated how to use the app. Then, with one-on-one instruction, the participants downloaded the app on their own devices and shared a ride to the Black Star Co-op, where they all had lunch.
“The human connection drives technology adoption,” said Catherine Crago, head of strategic initiatives for HACA and Austin Pathways. One North Loop resident, Jesse, explained to AT&T volunteer Paddy, “They tried to get me to use the computer. I’m not interested in email and recipes.” The pair discussed boxing matches, famous races, architecture, and geology. After Paddy used YouTube to locate a 1950s boxing match Jesse wished he could have seen, Jesse said, “I have a different feeling about the computer now. I’ll go to the [computer] classes.”
CTN will continue to offer Tech Teach-In events on a monthly basis, bringing together nonprofit and corporate partners. If you represent a nonprofit or corporation in Austin and are interested in partnering on a Tech Teach-In event, please contact Jessica Looney.