The days of textbooks and workbooks are numbered as our schools step up the use of online tools to communicate with parents, as well as to issue and receive homework from students. These days, it’s vital that parents be able to use a computer confidently so that they can best support their children’s passage through school.
Community Tech Network is partnering with the City of Sunnyvale, California, to provide digital literacy training to parents at one middle school and five elementary schools in Sunnyvale. The goal is to train 650 parents in two years.
The bulk of the training will cover basic computer skills. The aim is to teach parents skills that allow them to better communicate with the schools, monitor their children’s technology usage, and perhaps even find a better job for themselves. Currently, the topics include basic Chromebook operations: keyboard, touchpad, using email and the internet (safely), and Google Docs. It will also include “digital parenting,” which means helping parents become role models of responsible computer use to their kids and ensuring that their children are protected online.
On October 9, CTN delivered the first class at Ellis Elementary School, welcoming 16 parents in total. Our trainer, Maria, pictured here, was a hit with the parents. They appreciated that the class was taught in Spanish, rather than in English through an interpreter. Not only do the parents feel more comfortable learning in their own language, the class can also proceed more smoothly and quickly, enabling them to learn more efficiently.
Although it’s early days, we hope that the attendees will continue with the class, especially because they stand to receive a Chromebook for their home. Each learner is required to receive a minimum of 8 hours of training in order to graduate and be awarded with a device. Families on the school lunch program will receive a free device from California Public Utilities Commission (via the Broadband Adoption Account Funding program). And other families will be eligible to receive one device per household thanks to the City of Sunnyvale’s successful bid to Google for funds.