This week, about 20 colleges in 17 states participated in a Summer Learning Challenge, a collaboration between public libraries and educational technology providers to encourage teachers and students to learn the basics of computer skills.
A partnership between USA Libraries and the San Francisco School District, the Summer Learning Challenge raised funds for IT Education, a GARNET award-winning nonprofit school system that helps students in low-income and rural communities. The grant provides an extensive training seminar in basic computer skills; a software installation tutorial; and classroom instruction in the more than 30 individual courses offered by Summer Learning Challenge .
Currently, the Summer Learning Challenge is accepting applications to be our model site, as part of a nationwide pilot project. Applications are due by midnight Friday, May 28. For more information, go to USA Libraries website at www.usailibraries.org.
To be eligible for grants, materials must be maintained on open-source Internet-based content libraries such as the EPA, for high schools and professional libraries such as Creative Commons.
Q: What are some important steps to become a proficient computer user?
A: When you get on the Internet, you can find a lot of new technologies and techniques for learning how to use them. Education should not only be in an online environment, but in the classroom with equipment you can use in your own space to learn. It is up to us as educators to make sure you have all these tools available to you to help you make good use of your teachers and learn how to use the technology you choose.
Libraries could play a critical role in providing free access to computer learning materials. Students may get help in learning while online at a library located in their school, with opportunities for support and video assistance.
Q: What do you recommend to teachers in upgrading their lessons to be more realistic, specific, contemporary, and best practice?
A: Our role as educators is to make sure we are keeping up with what teachers need to do to teach every day. I would encourage teachers to think outside of the box to gain more understanding. If they think that computer lesson plans might apply to their current subject, they can create a lesson plan that would be best suited for their lesson plan.
Our role is to make sure you are always learning from your new students, but you can use new students to teach old students. If you were in a classroom and you have a new group, find the key lessons in your old lessons, and use your new learning as a teaching tool. Make sure that the key lessons that would be helpful for the new group have a sound foundation because you don’t want to just teach over and over again.
Q: Do you see libraries becoming more computer literate?
A: Libraries have been making great strides in developing more competencies in the technology technology they offer. The local library, which can serve as a place to learn about different computer programming, hacking, and a library community, could be an example for developers. We have great teachers in our libraries and professors who are engaged in helping their students learn computers. The variety of technology available online is inspiring and inspiring to the kids.
This training seminar is modeled after our largest state-wide participation in our Summer Learning Challenge, this year in Oakland, Calif. Summer Learning Challenge is designed to encourage adults to learn skills through information and sharing and grant money should be used to enhance technology literacy for college students.