Community Technology Network is expanding, and what better place to grow than in Texas — where everything is said to be bigger and better?
Under the direction of executive director and co-founder Kami Griffiths, CTN decided to broaden its reach to another tech hub — Austin, Texas. We recognize the need in both cities for the service we provide (train the trainer, curriculum development, staff capacity building and evaluation) specifically to address the basic digital literacy needs in the community.
“The City of Austin has been a national leader for digital inclusion for many years,” Griffiths said, “and we are excited to work with them, the community partners who participate in the digital empowerment of the City of Austin (DECA) and other Central Texas nonprofits who are looking to help their community cross the digital divide.”
CTN’s first community partner of this kind is Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA), a group that aims to “cultivate sustainable affordable housing communities and partnerships that inspire self-reliance, growth, and optimism.”
With help from HACA, Austin Pathways, and Dropbox, CTN will provide a series of trainings for 15 selected students in HACA’s Lab Apprenticeship Program (LAP). These trainings will prepare the students to serve more than 500 affordable-housing residents with the goal of increasing their digital skills to help them re-enter the workforce.
LAP serves as an effective means to work toward bridging the digital divide for many low-income HACA residents. The program promotes technology literacy, education, professional development, and training at HACA’s public housing properties. At the same time, it provides critical support to residents who access community computers in HACA’s public housing communities.
In addition to HACA, we are in conversation with several potential partners, including Family Eldercare, AGE of Central Texas, and the JCC. If your organization is interested in our programs and services, please visit our website for additional information.
With the expansion of CTN comes the need for Austin volunteers. CTN is always in need of trainers, mentors, and those with expertise in technology. Many volunteers serve as computer tutors. As a tutor, you work one-on-one with learners, providing instruction that responds to the learners’ needs in real time. This can include teaching basic skills such as using a mouse and keyboard, searching the Internet for information, communicating via social media, using email and Skype, and creating documents such as resumes.