Webinar Archive: Digital Inclusion: Assessments, Training and Certifications

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Digital Inclusion Training webinar today. Here’s the video archive…

The PPTs

And the description…

Overcoming fears and improving digital skills allows the digitally excluded to make full of broadband-based technologies to improve their school and work readiness as well as their overall quality of life.  Learn how groups in Minneapolis, Cass Lake and Worthington are using digital literacy tools, including assessments, training, workplace partnerships and other strategies to help learners of all ages and abilities.

When: 3-4:00 CST Thursday Sep 14

Participants:

  • Ann Treacy, Treacy Information Services
  • Hannah Buckland, Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Angie Willardson, Project for Pride in Living
  • Julie Foote, MVTV Wireless
  • Sharon Johnson, Worthington Community Education
  • Kayla Westra, MN West Community & Technical College

Sneak preview of today’s webinar on Digital Inclusion: Assessments, Training and Certifications

Today I will be presenting as part of the Free Blandin Webinar on Digital Inclusion. I thought I’d share a sneak preview of what I’ll be saying as a reminder to folks that it’s happening.

Here’s the info on the session – it’s not too late to join:
When: 3-4:00 CST Thursday Sep 14
Register now!

List of presenters:

  • Ann Treacy, Treacy Information Services
  • Hannah Buckland, Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Angie Willardson, Project for Pride in Living
  • Julie Foote, MVTV Wireless
  • Sharon Johnson, Worthington Community Education
  • Kayla Westra, MN West Community & Technical College

And my presentation:

Broadband Update in Yellow Medicine Broadband: partner, plan, local investment

The Yellow Medicine County Board met to discuss their broadband plan – investment, grant applications and partners in a plan to being providing fiber service to the county. Sounds like they have a willing partner and community investment. They are hoping for a Minnesota broadband grant – and I’d say that’s the linchpin here in the project. They are asking good questions. The Independent reported on the meeting.

Scope of work…

Two methods were being looked at, Konechne said. First, to build fiber into the entire area or building a hybrid model with fiber to towns and branch off of that.

In the rural area, YMC is looking at a potential of 1,862 customers.

“That includes a large pile of homes and a handful of businesses without internet service,” Dawson said. He and Konechne went into the details of the 52-mile width of land to cover, he called it the backbone. It adds up to about 955 miles of rods, weaving down township roads because there seems to be a household down each one, he said.

The investment…

They are looking at delivering the service on poles, like telephone wires.

The next steps for the county to consider were half done, the consultants said, because the first step was to find a partner for the project. Which, depending on getting a grant, the board had made that agreement at the last meeting.

The YMC Board approved a $4 million broadband agreement with Farmers Mutual Telephone Cooperative (FMTC) in August pending the cooperative receiving a grant to cover half of the costs for the project.

The details…

The grant would only cover about 49 percent of the project FMTC had asked the county to loan it the other 51 percent if the grant came through. The county could bond the funds at a minimum of $4 million with the repayments coming from FMTC.

Isaackson then brought up a coverage glitch. The project is to service the central and northeast portion of the county, not the southeast where he lives.

“How are we covered?” he asked.

Heglund said that the county was looking at Arvig to cover that area since it is already in parts of the southeast end of the county.

“They have five to 10 years to complete the project,” she said.

Some specifics…

“Fiber to towers will enhance MVTV service,” Antony said.

“The 52-mile backbone does hit a lot of their spots,” Konechne said. A successful combination is high elevation (towers) and solid backbone (fiber).

The second step is to find the other half of the financing for the unserved area. Another partner to help with that would be ideal.

Repaying a loan was weighing on Greg Isaackson’s mind. Isaackson, from Cottonwood, is the treasurer for MVTV. He wanted to know what happens if the annual payment on the bonded amount doesn’t get paid.

“The fiber is collateral,” Heglund said. “We’d have to find another partner.”

She went on to explain that there would be precautions up front. The county has to get at least a 63 percent take rate (subscribers). Farmers Mutual Cooperative would have to show it financials, that it can make these payments, before the deal went through.

Webinar Sep 14: Assessments, Training and Certifications: A path forward for the Digitally Excluded

Assessments, Training and Certifications: A path forward for the Digitally Excluded

Join us for the third of our webinar series on digital inclusion.  Overcoming fears and improving digital skills allows the digitally excluded to make full of broadband-based technologies to improve their school and work readiness as well as their overall quality of life.  Learn how groups in Minneapolis, Cass Lake and Worthington are using digital literacy tools, including assessments, training, workplace partnerships and other strategies to help learners of all ages and abilities.

When: 3-4:00 CST Thursday Sep 14
Register now!

Participants:

  • Ann Treacy, Treacy Information Services
  • Hannah Buckland, Leech Lake Tribal College
  • Angie Willardson, Project for Pride in Living
  • Julie Foote, MVTV Wireless
  • Sharon Johnson, Worthington Community Education
  • Kayla Westra, MN West Community & Technical College

Free NTEN Webinar on Wednesday – Older Adults & Technology

Looks like a great session…

Webinar: Older Adults & Technology – Best practices, recommendations, and future directions
START: SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 – 11:00 AM PT
COST: FREE
LOCATION: VIRTUAL
REGISTER NOW!

In this interactive webinar, participants will be introduced to OATS & Senior Planet programs, methodology, and the technologies best suited for digital literacy instruction among older learners. Additional topics will cover the impacts of ageism and technology acceptance among older adults, creating social learning environments poised for successful tech adoption, and the implications for deploying digital literacy training in myriad settings.

GigaZone Gaming Update: Pre-Registration for Overwatch 3×3 and Madden 18 Tournaments Opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 5th

The GigaZone Gaming Championship, the region’s stadium style e-Sporting event, returns to the Sanford Center Ballroom in Bemidji on Friday, September 29 and Saturday, September 30.

 

Part of the fun includes the chance to participate in various gaming tournaments and pre-registration for the Overwatch 3×3 and Madden 18 tournaments will open at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 5.  Those interested can register at www.gigazonegaming.com  Both tournaments are free to enter with prizes for top finishers but there is a limit of 32 teams.

 

“Overwatch and Madden are both extremely popular video games and we anticipate both tournaments will fill up quickly. It’s exciting to provide this opportunity so you can test yourself against others in the region and see how you come out.  The tournaments are free to enter and prizes will be awarded to the top four teams in each tournament.” said Leo Anderson, Paul Bunyan Communications Digital Services Supervisor.

 

“These are the 2 tournaments where pre-registration is required.  We are going to have a lot of other tournaments for people to play in with registration on-site like Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart 8, and Street Fighter 5.  We’ll also have open game play on arcade and console games throughout the 2 days,” added Anderson.

 

The main event is Northern Minnesota’s best League of Legends teams competing for more than $4,500 in cash and prizes on the GigaZone Gaming Championship stadium style stage.

 

For more information on the 2017 GigaZone Gaming Championships visit www.gigazonegaming.com

 

“We’re excited to bring this back to our region!  Whether someone is a big time gamer or not the GigaZone Gaming Championship is a great chance for people to come together, have fun, try out a wide variety of video games, and experience the growing eSports phenomenon.” added Brian Bissonette, Paul Bunyan Communications Marketing Supervisor.

Good luck!

 

Looking for techies AmeriCorps workers in the Twin Cities – CTEP at SPNN

Earlier this month, I went to SPNN (St Paul Neighborhood Network) to hear “what I did with my summer” presentations from current techie AmeriCorps members stationed in the Twin Cities and working through SPNN”s CTEP program. It is one of my favorite work events of the year. I wish I could bottle and hope and enthusiasm in the room.

It does a mind and body good to see how the AmeriCorps youth (20 somethings) are using technology to help communities in distressed areas – often projects that include younger kids (lots of middle school). Each group takes on a project. (You can see a full list.) They plan every aspect of it – from what the program will be to finding partners and funding to deploying the project. We heard about the ups and downs of each project. Some very quick top level highlights:

  • They created a Digital Homeroom to help with digital literacy classes.
  • FabFem is a great directory of women STEM speakers. http://www.fabfems.org
  • Libraries have Friend groups that will help you raise money (for library projects).
  • Keep programs simple.
  • Recognize whether you want drop in attendance or need consistency to make program work.
  • Go to where the people are.

Here’s a video on one program:

It turns out that CTEP is looking for new members. I’m going to include a letter from the Director below. It’s a fun opportunity for the right person. It might be difficult to replicate the project in a smaller community but I think there are some ideas to be gleaned – and I suspect the CTEP folks would be willing to share info.

My name is Joel Krogstad, and I am Director of the Community Technology Empowerment Project.  AmeriCorps CTEP Members are placed with one of twenty different partner organizations in the Twin Cities; most are non-profits that have community technology centers serving low income and new immigrant youth and adults. CTEP members teach technology skills for social, civic and economic empowerment. These skills teaching include basic computer skills, and could involve more advanced skills such as website and media production.

For more information on our program, please visit: http://spnn.org/ctep

All of our positions begin on Sept 5, 2017 and finish toward the end of August 2018.  To see the organizations where you could be placed, go to:  http://spnn.org/ctep/position-descriptions

The positions will be filled on a first come first serve basis, so it is in your best interest to apply as soon as possible to assure that you are matched with the organization that best aligns with your interests.

Benefits of the full-time positions include around $1000 monthly in living allowance, health and dental insurance including reimbursement of your deductible, child care depending on eligibility, and upon completion of your year an Education Award of $5775 that can be used to pay off past school loans or future education-related expenses up to seven years in the future.

You would also need to be available on the first and third Fridays of every month to participate in our AmeriCorps professional development trainings with other AmeriCorps members. This can be a conflict for some individuals who have university classes on Friday or another job that isn’t so flexible, hopefully this won’t be a problem for you.

If you feel ready, apply online at https://my.americorps.gov and click on “apply to serve.” Search for “Community Technology Empowerment Project” when asked where to send the application. You will see other site-specific CTEP listings, at this point it doesn’t matter which or how many listings you apply for. All CTEP-related applications go to the same place, and specific sites will be agreed upon after the first interview.

Two interviews are required for consideration. The first interview is with Joel Krogstad, CTEP Program Director. Then, you will have the opportunity to choose up to three service sites where you would have a second interview with your the site supervisor, who would be your day-to-day supervisor.  We feel this placement process finds the best match between your skills and interests, and the needs of our service sites and communities.

Please contact me, Joel Krogstad, at 651 298 8918 or krogstad@spnn.org if you have any questions about the positions. AmeriCorps can be a powerful experience; we hope that you would find it extraordinarily rewarding.

We hope you apply!