LIFT-DC and the Mobile Tech Lab!
In December, LIFT-DC had its first opportunity to host computer classes thanks to a new grant from Comcast! LIFT-DC partnered up with the D.C. government and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The initiative, dcConnectHome works to narrow the digital divide for low-income families and individuals in DC, especially those who live in HUD housing. LIFT-DC was chosen to be one of the first local community partners to bring digital literacy classes to the DC community.
LIFT-DC understands the importance of being digitally connected in today’s world. That’s why we partnered with Connect.DC – the District government’s digital inclusion program – to offer basic computer training classes on its Mobile Tech Lab. The classes helped residents build basic tech skills that they can use to find jobs and access essential services.
LIFT-DC’s participation in dcConnectHome involves computer classes for LIFT members in a Mobile Tech Lab (MTL). The MTL is a brand new van, equipped with laptops and a projector, designed for computer classes for up to fifteen people. The intention is for the MTL to reach communities that can’t access many services normally, by bringing the technology to them, instead of being a brick and mortar institution. As part of the partnership, any LIFT member who attended every computer class was eligible for a free device and subsidized internet service at the end of the quarter.
Overall, the computer classes were a grand success. More than five members attended every class, sometimes even being over ten members packed onto the MTL van! LIFT-DC members were consistent about showing up to every class so they could truly build on their computer skills. With this first session of six classes total, LIFT-DC members learned the computer basics, from what the internet is and how to use a mousepad and type, to learning how to check email and attach documents! Some LIFT members even began to come into the office to practice their digital literacy skills at our independent computer workstation. Our members are engaged, dedicated and enthusiastic during each class.
In 2016, LIFT-DC is continuing computer classes so that these core members can continue to build upon the skills they have already learned. Thank you again to Comcast for the ongoing support in helping our members achieve their digital literacy goals! Digital literacy is not just a luxury but is vital in society today; these skills will help many members further achieve their goals and empower them.
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