Digital Inclusion Showcase: #MNBroadband Conference 2017

There are two essential parts of a broadband plan – having it and using it. Hear from folks around Minnesota who have been creative about getting their community to make better use of broadband. See demonstrations and hear stories from a variety of organizations and projects from around the state.

Facilitated by Ann Treacy, Treacy Information Services

Show and Tell Sessions:

Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition
The ATC is a virtual collaborative focused on developing and expanding an integrated behavioral health network that connects community behavioral health providers with schools, jails, rural hospitals, law enforcement, tribal providers, and others to better serve its community members. Ric Schaefer

Business Training/Assessments
Before joining the Blandin Foundation full time, Alie worked with Itasca Economic Development Corporation to development business digital use surveys and design training and advising opportunities to help get local businesses to make better use of technology. Alie McInerney

Community Technology Empowerment Project
While CTEP AmeriCorps members mostly teach basic digital literacy like Microsoft Word and Basic Computers, AmeriCorps members also dream up and deploy digital literacy projects in and around the Twin Cities. Projects have included creating digital scavenger hunts, computer giveaways, teaching kids to do video production, and blogging about social issues.  Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva

Facebook for Civic/Public Meetings
While following broadband stories for the Blandin on Broadband blog, Ann has been livestreaming public meetings. It’s easy and a good way to make it easy for citizens to see what’s happening now and have a record for later.
Ann Treacy
Handout on how to livestream on Facebook

Online Gaming Contest
Paul Bunyan is hosting their second annual GigaZone Gaming Championship. Participants compete in online tournaments for real money. Games include Overwatch 3×3, Madden 18, Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart 8, Street Fighter 5 and more.  Leo Anderson

PCs for People
PCs for People refurbishes donated computers to distribute to low income households. They also offer affordable tech support and Internet access (where available). IN a partnership with the Blandin Foundation, PCs for People has been working with rural communities around Minnesota. Sam Drong

Project FINE
Project FINE focuses on integrating new Americans to their new home in Winona. They offer a range of classes and services including technology training from the ground up in multiple languages and opportunities for kids to learn how to code. Fatima Said FSaid@Co.Winona.MN.US

Red Wing Ignite (from Coder Dojo to Ignite Cup)
Red Wing Ignite is helping their town capitalize on their Gig access by fostering innovation by supporting students, entrepreneurs and businesses. This includes such things as contests that challenge and reward local innovators, a CoderDojo for students, local tech internship projects and more. Neela Mollgaard & Shannan Harris

“Virtual Reality is Here.” Learn how this new medium opens up a world of new experiences with your smartphone. And here about how Chuck has used it for a wide range of purposes – music videos, promotions and social justice. Chuck Olsen

I’m very pleased to share notes from CTEP worker Camilla Dreasher

Showcase Notes

  • Introduction by Ann Tracy
    • Session Outline
      • Quick Presentations, then Q&A walking around Tables

PCs for People

  • Sam Drong
  • Who are the digitally distant?
    • Income
    • Low income users still use the internet
    • DOES affect at home internet access
    • RACE
    • African Americans and Latinos significantly less likely to have access to the internet
    • Why do people not have internet?
      • Previously: relevance to their lives
      • Now: cost is the largest barrier to internet access. (43% of Pew research participants).
  • What is PCs for People?
    • Distribute computers to people below 200% of the poverty level
      • Or disabled, or on government assistance
    • Internet service
      • Pay as you go
        • $10-$13 a month
        • w/ Sprint
          • 16,000 active subscribers
        • Electronics recycling company
          • 400 companies in MN
          • Microsoft registered refurbisher (Windows 10)
          • Partnership w/ MSS
        • Repair Computers
          • $25 Repairs any computers

VISUAL Chuck Olsen

  • What is VR
    • Immersive headset
    • Replace entire visual field
  • Pain Relief, engaging seniors,

Red Wing Ignite Neela Mollgaard and Shannan Harris

  • Have Broadband in ________
    • Bring opportunities to people in the
    • APPS for good.
    • College Tech Internships
      • Made website for local company
    • Corporate internship
    • T.E.A.M.
      • Science, technology, engineering, arts, & math
    • Co-working and meeting space
      • Provide office resources for entrepreneurs
      • Redwing maker space at MN state college Southeast
    • Economic impact of Broadband
      • Help Businesses launch
      • Help established businesses find resources and connect

Fatima Said and Katie Project FINE

  • Train refugees and immigrants to work with technology
    • 2011 67 participants
      • 48 participants got computers through PCs for People
    • 2012
      • 80 participants, 71 computers distributed
        • Added laptops and technology tutor
      • 2013
        • 53 participants 10 computers distributed
          • New focus on online research
            • Learned PowerPoint and online research
          • 2014
            • 40 participants
            • Social media
              • Focus on safety, computer training, building community
              • Made Facebook pages for diverse community
              • 1580 followers on the Hmong Facebook page
              • 908 followers for Hispanic Facebook page
            • 100% had internet at home ~90% had internet at home
          • 2015 .COM Creative Online Market Place
            • Building online presence for refugee and immigrant business owners
            • 40 participants
            • 17 online marketing Plan
            • 10 People got a new website or social media page
          • 2016-2017
            • Learn to Code
            • Coading and App Development with Local Immigrant and refugee youth
            • 50 afterschool kids
            • 10 volunteer mentors
            • Organized visits to local tech businesses and MN State College Southeast
          • Lessons Learned
            • Know your audience, know your resources, know your goals

Lisa Peterson-de la Cueva

CTEP is the BEST!!!

Allie McInerny Business training/Assessments

  • Tech assessments
    • Make technology more useful and relevant for businesses and Itasca County
    • Improve tech utilization by local businesses
    • Define a business’ Technology Goals, Create a plan to meet those goals, support the business in meeting those goals.
  • Example Recommendations
    • Chiropractor, Was trying to use canned content to engage followers
      • Tailored posts to his proposed clientele
    • Local Business, had a website and Facebook page but they were rarely updated
      • Removed online shopping and began offering discounts and promotions on Facebook to reward established customers
    • Results
      • 40 Business, 8 grants, 1 loan, 50% attended additional digital training, 50% made changes, 50% improved marketing, 80% improved engagement with community, ___% would recommend program to others.
      • Take always, improved engagement with clients improved their results with the program. The Recommendations and assessments had to be tailored to individual businesses.

Rick Schaefer Arrowhead Telepresence Coalition

  • The ATC focuses on bringing behavioral health resources to people in the Arrowhead region who otherwise wouldn’t have access to these services.
  • A state-wide network adapted from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Telepresence network
  • Used By
    • Rural residents
    • Jails
    • Rural hospitals
    • Schools
  • Allows collaboration by local community health practitioners, clinics and hospitals which increases access to care.
  • Access to broadband it vital to use or expand telepresence utilization


Leo Anderson 2nd Annual Gaming Championship

The Gigazone gaming competition stemmed from people bringing their gaming machines to test the latency on gigabit internet speeds

  • Internet latency has a huge impact on digital gaming competitions
    • Most rural internet connections 80ms latency
    • Gig internet ~17ms latency
    • E-Sports competition
      • GigaZone Gaming Championship
      • Finals in the Stanford Center in Bemidji
      • 2500-3000 attendees this year
    • Marketed internship opportunities to local youth and improved engagement
  • League of Legends, Overwatch, Galaga, Pac Man, arcade cabinets

Ann Tracy Using Facebook Live to livestream meetings and improve engagement

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