Community Tech Network has been participating in the San Francisco Public Library’s annual Tech Week for the past eight years. CTN’s senior program manager, Stephen Minor, says the impact is tremendous.
This year, CTN hosted various sessions, both in-person and online, at Tech Week. Staff members taught participants how to use QR codes, take screenshots, edit images, and partake in online shopping, as well as how to manage Google calendars and sync them with mobile devices. CTN also offered workshops on cybersecurity and explained the best applications for translating to other languages.
Most of the crowd consisted of older adults, and Steph says that the workshops fostered an atmosphere in which everyone could confidently ask questions without feeling embarrassed since many of the participants had similar levels of technological knowledge.
The feedback was great. As many commonplace tasks have become digitized, participants say they can now use some of their new skills in everyday life. For example, someone approached Steph saying that going to restaurants will now be easier with the ability to scan QR codes to read the menu! Some participants, intrigued after learning from CTN in the workshops, even asked about signing up for digital literacy lessons through CTN’s Digital Coaching program.
“It’s a positive experience for everyone,” says Steph. “Aside from helping people become familiar with their devices, the event also brings awareness to diverse communities and populations and lets them know that there are agencies out there that can meet their needs and help them get connected.”