BBC Update on Redwood County: Ditigal training, new equipment, looking at state grant

KarlSamp2Thanks to Karl Samp for updates on what’s happening with Redwood County. Karl has been working with Redwood County as part of their participation in the Blandin Broadband Communities program…

The Redwood Area Hospital project is moving along nicely. All partner agreements signed and needed hardware purchased at remote sites. AVu coming 7/9-10 to load software and they hope to be operational by end of July.

All projects have gone well. The Redwood Connect Lunch N Learn series began in February and runs through July with the first series of classes.
Attendance has been up and down at classes but by and large, good. The Redwood Connect Technology Training Center located in the lower level of the Redwood County Court House has been working well for both the public training classes, and those offered to County Employees. They are getting limited response from County employees on training opportunities.

The County has access to a potentially larger facility located in the Government Center, and may move the training center in to this space so they can add stations (only room for 12 now) and maybe increase employee participation as well as public access!

GIS is in the testing phase, and their Technology Community has been discussing which layers will be available for free and those that will require a subscription. They should be up and running by Fall.

The Library says their 20 new computer stations and two pads are getting steady and regular use. Lots of positive comments. They are considering and will probably apply for a tablet check-out initiative and Terri has been in touch with other Plum Creek Librarians about their projects (Clint in Nobles and Tammi in Jackson- very helpful.)

Community Ed ECFE found the additional funding to go into all 3 preschool classrooms (Blandin funded only two of the rooms). Classes have been able to run regardless of paid attendees because of grant. Only one class cancelled.They are considering applying for one more grant to expand training.

RedRock Central School District says their new 20 Chromebooks are being used for training sessions, and some one on one training so far. Their students and business owners are loving the exposure and use of their new 3-D printers. An educational opportunity for both students and the public to develop prototypes and products!

Julie Rath with the Redwood County EDA will initiate conversations with local providers about B to B state DEED Grant opportunities. She is also using their marketing funds to promote the Lunch N learn Series and gearing up for the second series of classes that will run from August through December. They are adding in Computers & Coffee from 8 – 9:30 the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month and the Lunch N Learn will continue on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. A broadband usage survey will be conducted in the next month or so via online survey gathering information from residents across the County so they can better determine the need and map where the un and underserved areas are and then share that with providers as they embark on applications for the Border to Border Broadband funding. The grand prize winner from the completed surveys will win a new Ipad!

This entry was posted in Blandin Foundation, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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