CTN’s 2021 Annual Report Is Here!
Community Tech Network is excited to announce the release of our 2021 Annual Report! This past year was exciting and challenging for CTN, as we returned to some in-person (masked!) programming while continuing to remain flexible during these unprecedented times. Overall, the year was a great success. We trained 1,793 unique learners, distributed 1,298 devices, and provided 4,450 hours of direct digital literacy training. To read more about our accomplishments the past year, read the report here.
American Society on Aging Conference
CTN’s executive director, Kami Griffiths, recently co-hosted a panel at the American Society on Aging conference. The panel, “Digital Inclusion and Older Adults: A Survey of Research, Best Practices, and Opportunities for Technology Engagement,” shared research studies outlining the challenges of a digitally disconnected, aging population. They also discussed case studies of digital inclusion pilot projects targeting senior affordable housing. To learn more about this presentation and see highlights from the conference, click here.
COMMUNITY TECH NETWORK SPOTLIGHT
New Pilot Apprenticeship Program!
Teaching Assistant Spotlight: Edmond
CTN recently established a new pilot apprenticeship program, in which we invite program graduates to undergo training and teach their peers. One of the first such teaching assistants was Edmond, an older adult from Hong Kong who participated in CTN’s Sunset Tech Connect program funded by Metta Fund. Edmond encourages people of all ages to participate in Community Tech Network’s programs. “I’m in my 60s, but technology has greatly impacted my life. It’s even more important for people in their 70s and 80s. It can be hard to keep in touch with the outside world [especially in quarantine and for immigrants], but CTN can help.” Learn more about Edmond’s story here.
Volunteer Spotlight: Ivy
During the pandemic, Ivy Au, a college student, decided to volunteer as a Digital Coach with CTN. She hosts weekly lessons with Renee, an older adult, and taught her how to use platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Netflix, which provided Renee social interaction and entertainment during quarantine. Ivy also showed Renee how to set up telehealth appointments using Zoom. Says Ivy, “So many seniors lack adequate internet access and skills, and I hope that, by being a digital coach, I am able to improve people’s quality of life, even if in small ways.” Read more about Ivy here.
Helping Communities Obtain Funding to Support Digital Literacy
Recently, CTN has hosted a series of webinars regarding new federal and state funding opportunities.
Connect Your Community: In this webinar series (ongoing), CTN discusses new grant opportunities from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and shares information about our services.
Securing Funding to Get Older Adults Connected: In this webinar, we provided background on new federal funding that can address gaps in older adults’ access and discussed how community-based organizations and local governments can prepare and direct these funds.
Stay tuned and follow us on social media to find out when we will host our next webinars!
Stay Informed About Digital Equity!
Affordable Connectivity Program: CTN helps learners sign up for the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), which provides eligible low-income households with a discount of up to $30 per month for home broadband plans. Learn the fast facts about the ACP and find out about eligibility requirements in our recent blog.
Airwaves for Equity: Nine of the country’s largest digital inclusion organizations joined forces to launch the Airwaves for Equity Coalition, of which CTN is an endorser. The federal government has already allocated funding to expand broadband access across the country, but the coalition argues that people need to simultaneously learn digital skills in order to be able to utilize the available technology and avoid creating a “bridge to nowhere.” Click here to learn more.