Transforming lives through digital literacy.


Photo: CTN staff member Jannell Q. Mateo Rivas conducts a training session with patrons of CEI via Zoom

I am the Bilingual Digital Literacy Program manager at CTN, and in August I’ll celebrate my third year of employment. I’d like to share some of my work with one of CTN’s training partners, the Center for Elders’ Independence. CEI is a community-based organization that helps at-risk seniors live safely and independently at home instead of in a nursing home. 

CTN has a training agreement with CEI to train over 450 of its clients (patrons) over the next two years. The original agreement called for us to provide on-site training, but the coronavirus required us to shift to remote, online classes. Thanks to our experience and success with Home Connect, we were able to accommodate that. CEI agreed to set up email accounts and preinstall apps such as Zoom and TeamViewer on devices. We also pretrain the learners to be comfortable with their iPad and using Zoom before our first online lesson. The agreement calls for the CTN instructor to be the lead trainer, assisted by one or two CEI volunteers trained by CTN. We also developed their customized digital literacy curriculum in English and will be translating it into Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Filipino as needed.

I am currently finishing the sixth week of a seven-week block of training with my learners. I provide three one-hour sessions per week to three different classes that attend for seven weeks. Some days I have as few as two, while on others I may have up to five. The groups are small, so we can provide personal attention as needed. Additionally, the seniors have homework consisting of four 15-minute at-home self-paced learning practices as required by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which provides funding for the partnership through its Digital Literacy Adoption program.

I enjoy working with these folks. Although the sessions are challenging, we have a lot of fun, especially when the unexpected pops up. I’ll miss them all after they graduate next week. I hope I have helped make a difference for them and have brightened their lives.

Partner Spotlight: Center for Elders’ Independence (CEI)

About Author

Jannell Mateo Rivas