Photo: The Mosaica Family Apartments, located in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood.
CTN is excited to begin a new partnership with Lutheran Social Services (LSS), a nonprofit organization focused on ending homelessness. This collaboration — supported by a grant from the CPUC’s California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) — is set to train 66 unique learners over the next two years. The goal is to empower people with limited technology experience to utilize the internet in everyday life and benefit from online resources.
We recently wrapped up two training cohorts for residents of the Mosaica Family Apartments. Courses took place in a virtual format, with one group taught in Spanish and one in English. Each learner received a configured tablet, which they are eligible to keep upon completing the five-week course. Before we got started, the Mosaica site staff conducted a one-on-one orientation to ensure that every learner knew how to join the class on Zoom.
Throughout the course, CTN instructors covered essential digital skills like sending emails, sharing files, identifying possible scams, and keeping passwords confidential. They also discussed how to send and download photos, the different methods for storing data, where to download apps, and how to determine the safety of internet networks. In the later sessions, participants learned how to use different applications and digital resources like Google Drive, online banking, library resources, and free online courses.
Before joining the program, many of the learners had limited experience with technology. One Mosaica learner, Jose, found the internet to be especially intimidating. As an immigrant whose first language is not English, he felt excluded from the digital world and fearful that he would make too many mistakes. After just five weeks, however, Jose is using the internet with confidence.
“I feel more comfortable and open to learning more about computers,” reflects Jose. “I now have more patience with technology. I use my email more often, research information online, and share information with friends and family. Usually, when someone teaches me about computers, I feel very pressured to the point where it is hard for me to concentrate, but the instructor made us feel comfortable. It felt like we were learning at our own pace. The teacher established a friendly and respectful relationship so that we all felt like we were the same and not like she knew more than others.”
CTN is eager to meet our next round of learners and excited to see what this partnership has in store!