Bits & bytes

#MobileTechLabsRock

Editor’s note: Computing and its caveats is a popular topic, and to help address some of your concerns we’ll be featuring this column periodically. Seattle Housing Authority resident and computer lab instructor Ben Wong wants to hear from you. If you have a topic you’d like him to tackle, contact him care of The Voice.

By Ben Wong

SHA resident

Hello again friends, it’s your neighbor from Olympic West. I have exciting news about a technology grant that SHA residents requested from the City of Seattle that got renewed for this year.
It’s called the Mobile Computer Lab project and it is intended to be a computer lab that myself and two other SHA residents, Elizabeth Kennedy and Al Yardley, will bring to various SHA and SSHP buildings to teach classes on computers (essentially, a box full of laptops and tablets with a WiFi hotspot).

SHA computer instructors, including Elizabeth Kennedy, shown with Olive Ridge resident Lanel, are teaching their way around the housing community and Seattle Senior Housing Program sites. Equipped with laptops used to teach basic computing, the Mobile Computer Lab is made possible by a grant from the City of Seattle.

SHA computer instructors, including Elizabeth Kennedy, shown with Olive Ridge resident Lanel, are teaching their way around the housing community and Seattle Senior Housing Program sites. Equipped with laptops used to teach basic computing, the Mobile Computer Lab is made possible by a grant from the City of Seattle.

We’ll have 10, two-hour classes at each building. There’s a general structure for the sorts of classes we’ll teach by default (see chart at right), but if you have advanced questions, it’s worth a shot to show up for a class.
In buildings where no one needs introductory training, I’ll skip that and teach whatever people want to learn. (Example questions: How do I create a memorable password? Can I print a 3-D part for a model airplane? What is “artificial intelligence”? How do I reset my password? Is it safe to shop online? How do our building keycards work?)
All classes start at 2:00 p.m., have a break around 3:15 and finish at 4:30 p.m.
The “tech support” days are not classes, but are an opportunity for individuals to ask me any questions, including bringing in their computing devices to see if I can help. However, if a building shows enough interest in a topic in the first week, I may be able to create a completely new class by the second week specifically for that building.
While the Mobile Lab will provide laptops to use in the class, if you have one of your own you are highly encouraged to bring it to class to learn on.
Here’s the general schedule for the three weeks we’ll be at each building:

table

 

 

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