digital literacy

Online Safety Curriculum


A curriculum including workshops, handouts, syllabus, quizes and vocabulary lists on the subject of Online Safety developed by corps member Melissa Niiya.

Facebook Safety Handout


As part of a curriculum about using facebook corps member Melissa Niiya developed a workshop about how to stay safe on facebook.

Internet Shopping Curriculum


A curriculum including a syllabus, handouts, quizes and instructor guide on the topic of Internet shopping developed by corps member Melissa Niiya.

The media prophets report no future for capacity building of Community Media


Date: June 13, 2011
Contact: Belinda Rawlins, (617) 287-7371,

Where did you get that bright and shiny digital literacy?

Recent policy papers call for the support of community digital literacy providers, including community-based organizations, but there is little appreciation for the variety and richness of these organizations’ work. The Aspen Institute and Knight Foundation’s “Digital Literacy: A Plan of Action” admits there is “little awareness of programs and services in digital and media literacy education,” and recommends the mapping of community digital and media literacy resources.

CTEP another example of service in support of digital literacy

TECHdotMIN published an article about the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.

CTC Assistance

VISTA Name: 
Larry Syms
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Our long-range goals are to enable a significant number of adult learners to feel comfortable and skilled in using computers and to learn where they can purchase low-cost (recycled or new) computers for family use.

VISTA members will perform the following taks:

- Enabling adult students to feel comfortable and skilled in finding useful information on the web;

- Assisting in learning projects such as helping adult learners to word process and desktop publish school newspapers and student magazines;

- With small groups of adult students designing and making web-based Virtual Visits of workplaces and community organizations of interest to adult learners and their families;

- Providing access to online and CD-ROM-based adult instruction in English language and other basic skills learning

- Adding to the Boston E-Square web pages

Computer Distribution Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Wilson Bull
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

The TechREACH Alliance Project (TAP) is a partnership between the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (PSCTLT), Wilderness Technology Alliance and the TEConnections program to increase technology access and literacy in underserved communities located in Eastern Washington and Western Washington. TAP will provide technology literacy training and a refurbished computer with Internet access to people from low-income households via established partnerships with schools, DSHS, community colleges, and/or community centers.

The TechREACH VISTA will be involved in a broad range of work from administrative details to program design and implementation.

Specific responsibilities include:

• Coordinate a Train the Trainer workshop for teachers and student leaders

• Offer Technical Assistance Workshops to low-income families focused on building technology skills and awareness of resources to help families improve self-sufficiency and workplace skills

• Support after school clubs for middle and high school students in which students refurbish computers for deployment into low-income communities

• Develop partnerships with businesses, colleges and community-based organizations to support program goals and sustainability

• Assist in the development of a student-led telephone and technical support system

• Monitor and provide technical assistance to sites

• Develop and research resources to support program initiative

• Plan events in which project participants will share project results and impact

Project Outcome: 

As the coordinator for the TechREACH Alliance Project, Will worked extensively on coordination, assisting with training, distributing computers, and capacity building. To begin his year of service he helped to coordinate and lead a Train the Trainer workshop for teachers and student leaders. At this workshop he also provided some new curriculum to the club leaders which provided more details about taking apart computers and troubleshooting.

After this event which kicked off the second year of the project he spent more time on supporting the after-school clubs. Checking in with club leaders to share and learn best practices was an important aspect of his work. As the year progressed he began to assist in distributing the refurbished computers at each of the ten clubs.

All in all, we’ve had nine clubs out of ten distribute computers and Will helped club leaders distribute at least 100 computers out to families. The distributions also required a lot of research and awareness of community resources such as training opportunities and internet services providers. His research in compiling these resources highlighted the need for training opportunities and internet access in Washington State. As well as utilizing partnerships with the Wilderness Technology Alliance and TEConnections to get the computers out to clubs, he created new ones with the Bridges Project of Central Washington University and Genext Communications. He worked with the Bridges Project to provide training in a rural area that does not have any local computer training options. Genext helped to provide internet access to areas not covered by our other ISP partner, Webband. The TechREACH Director and other TechREACH staff supported our VISTA in his work.

Will testified multiple times in front of Washington State legislators about the importance of broadband access and education. In addition, he helped advocate for a critical fix to the E-Waste legislation in Washington that would have prevented thousands of computers from being refurbished for distribution to low-income families.

Impact Quote: 

Will’s enthusiasm and energy was felt across the organization. The work that he did will inform a future proposal that the Communities Connect Network is submitting to support community technology and increase demand for broadband access in our state. In addition, the curriculum he helped to develop will be disseminated widely.”
- Karen Manuel

Technology Capacity Coordinator

VISTA Name: 
Stewart Blair
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

As the Digital Presenting Coordinator, our VISTA member will work with the Media Archive and Web Team to improve the Appalshop’s capacity to digitally present its history, work, and issue-based campaigns to diverse internet audiences. Presentations will consist of text, visuals, audio, and video files. Specific tasks include:

- Devising a method and/or template for creating web-based digital media
- Training Appalshop staff, community members, and youth to make digital
presentations of their own work
- Developing a plan and infrastructure for uploading presentations to web and
distributing presentations to multiple,diverse audiences; plan/infrastructure
should emphasize use of new networking/technology tools like YouTube and MySpace
- Creating an introductory webpage for Appalshop’s Film Division that includes
articles, interviews, and audio and video pieces about Appalshop Films’ history
and current work
- Using work from Appalshop’s Media Archive to create issue- or topic-specific web
presentations and distributing them to key, yet diverse, web audiences

All web presentations will support Appalshop’s mission to involve the people of Appalachia in the representation of their culture, traditions, and stories.

Project Outcome: 

Stewart Machlyn Blair was successful in integrating web 2.0 strategies into Appalshop’s training programs and building advanced technology learning opportunities for advanced youth so they could continue to contribute to Appalshop’s overall work as a non-profit media arts and education center. Blair also was successful in initiating and testing digital delivery services, contributing to building the databases necessary to implement digital delivery.

One of the difficulties Blair faced was organizing his time among different responsibilities. This challenge was recognized early in his service and we developed more pro-active mentorship that seemed to help.

Impact Quote: 

Blair greatly increased our capacity to provide technology and media education training and access in an area where there are few opportunities for young people or adults to gain media/technology literacy, and use these new tools to participate in their communities.”
- Rebecca O’Doherty, supervisor

Transmission Project