City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine
|Vol. 10, No. 5||May, 2011|
Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund deadline is May 18 at 5:00 p.m. We have launched a web-based application and grant management system this year. You can now apply and track your project online. Please plan for two business days to confirm your account registration. To learn more and to set up your account, click here.cable seminar
Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications is offering a free seminar, entitled “Know Your Rights When Negotiating Long-Term Cable Service Contracts” for building owners, condo association officers and property managers. Technology changes fast, so it may be beneficial to keep long-term options open with the cable and broadband services to your building. Come to the seminar and learn more about your negotiating rights. For details, visit the Office of Cable Communications Home Page.fed apps contest
The Knight Foundation and the FCC have announced a contest for developers to create a software application (app) that delivers personalized, actionable information to people that are least likely to be online. The challenge will offer up to $100,000 in prizes to winning application developers and is intended to bring together providers of public data, developers, and traditionally underserved populations through a national contest.social media on
Facebook, tweets, RSS, podcast, listservs: The City of Seattle has developed a list of links to the social media being used by City of Seattle elected officials and departments. Go here or look for it in the footer of the Seattle.gov web site.teen jobs
Have a teen looking for a summer job or program? Puget SoundOff.org has launched its jobs and programs database, and it’s just for teens and young adults. Youth-serving organizations with paid or volunteer positions are encouraged to post their opportunities.meet alice lawson
Alice Lawson joins the Department of Information Technology Office of Cable Communications as their new Cable Franchise Analyst. Here are thoughts she shared with us when we asked her why working towards technology access for everyone is important:
"I’ve always been a bit of a zealot about supporting citizen engagement. I believe the more that people are involved in their communities, the healthier their communities will be. Someone once said to me 'decisions are made by those who show up.' Over my years of work and volunteering, I’ve found this statement to be true again and again. With its focus on issues surrounding cable television and cable/broadband Internet service, the Office of Cable Communication plays a really important role in promoting access to information for all Seattle residents. There’s no question that cable service has moved beyond being a source of entertainment to being a critical way citizens are able to receive and share information. I’m excited to join the team that’s been quietly working behind the scenes for years, advocating for the cable interests of the people of Seattle and protecting an important tool for citizen engagement and the digital future."
Alice’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contact her with any questions you might have about the work she is doing in the Office of Cable Communications.rey martinez
wins ymca award
Puget SoundOff intern Rey Martinez, 19, was awarded the 2011 Youth Development Award from the YMCA of Greater Seattle. Rey was chosen for his exemplary achievements as a student and graphic design intern. Rey will attend Seattle Central Community College in the fall. Watch Rey’s story in this video, produced for the YMCA’s annual meeting.l.i.n.k.a.g.e
How NPO’s can use QR codes (those square barcode boxes), by NTEN.
Twitter Tips: a slide show.
Have a question for Mayor Mike McGinn? Join the conversation with Seattle Channel host C.R. Douglas as he sits down with the Mayor on Wednesday, May 25, at 7 p.m. for Ask the Mayor. Call (206) 681-8821 between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. or email your questions. Also, follow their conversation on Twitter or Facebook with the Seattle Channel’s accounts. You can also submit questions through Twitter and Facebook as well.
Follow the Seattle Channel on Twitter.com/SeattleChannel and become a fan of the Seattle Channel on Facebook! Friends and followers get up to the minute info on new programs, behind the scene pictures of shoots and interviews and more!city inside/out:
Do you have questions for the Seattle City Council? This week, the Seattle Channel offers you the opportunity to have your questions for Councilmemebers Jean Godden, Nick Licata, and Mike O'Brien answered and discussed with host C.R. Douglans. Submit your questions for the conversation by 5:00 on May 5 here. Then tune in on Wednesday, May 11 at 7:00 p.m. to find out what they have to say.free internet hookups
Free cable broadband Internet service is available for organizations providing technology training to community members. The free service is offered within the Seattle city limits, based on the City's cable franchise agreements with Comcast and Broadstripe (Millennium). For more information and to download a short form to make application, go to our tech web. If you have questions, email Derrick Hall or call (206) 233-5061.archives
Back issues of Brainstorm including techtips and linkage are now available in our online archives. Previous TechTips and Linkage are also available. Click to revisit all previous issues.
native art and culture through games
Tierra Madre Fund, a Native-led nonprofit based in Seattle, taught a class over mid-Winter break for Native American middle school students in Seattle, using technology as a tool for the students to express their Native art and culture. SDK Bridge created dance arcade game software where you need to put your feet on certain pads in time to music. Through funding from the Technology Matching Fund and the generous contributions of their supporters, the software was designed so that graphics, music, and dance steps were all customizable. Native American artists and educators Roger Fernandes, Solana Booth and Sondra Simone Segundo taught the students Coast Salish and Northwest Coast stories, art and Native music. Then the students created mash-ups of contemporary and traditional Native music to use for the game music; they hand-drew Native art which was scanned in and used for the user interface; and Peter Gruenbaum taught them XML so that they could define the dance moves. Members of the Native community built a dance pad out of wood and neoprene, and students painted it with hand drawn Native designs.
The class was taught at Chief Sealth High School, and then it was showcased at the University of Washington’s First Nations Annual Spring Powwow, where the public could play it. They produced a short video, and this YouTube video shows the game in action.
“It’s so gratifying to watch these children get excited about learning traditional stories from the first peoples of this land, how to draw in the Northwest formline art form, and to connect with Native music in a contemporary way that appeals to them. Students are practicing their culture, keeping it alive and vibrant,” according to Susan Balbas, executive director of Tierra Madre Fund.mix of programming for unique lake city neighborhood
The North Seattle Family Center (NSFC), one of the locations of the Children’s Home Society of Washington, coordinates the only computer lab in Lake City that offers free computer classes to the community. Meeting this responsibility head-on, the NSFC made application and was awarded a Technology Matching Fund grant to revitalize its aging computer lab. With the funds, they purchased four desktop PCs, a laptop PC, and a Mac computer. Additionally, they outfitted each station with headphones and a flash drive to help people personalize their computer use.
Beyond the purchase and installation of new equipment, staff at the NSFC lab created classes and programs to match the needs of the community. NSFC’s training resources are centered on basic computer skills, job readiness, and English language learning. NSFC also provides resources to lab users looking for help with budgeting, parenting, and homework.
Joy Scott, lab coordinator, took the initiative to create a website for lab participants using Googlesites, a free online website building tool. On the home page, participants can choose from lists (separated into For Adults, For Kids, and Everyone) titled: “What do you want to do today?” Lab participants can choose from Budgeting, Computing Skills, English Language Learning, and Job Readiness, among many other topics. Each topic page lists a broad range of resources for interactive tutorials on everything from using Word 2007 to learning English grammar rules to building a resume. You can check out the site here.
Currently, the NSFC’s computer lab programs aim to meet the specific needs of the community members including: seniors, youth, English language learners, and the Latino and East African communities who live in the Lake City area. The NSFC provides an excellent example of an organization using the TMF grant not only to improve community members’ access to computers and the Internet, but also to help people increase important employment and life skills.new edlab ccn staff
We welcome Katrina Kennard to the Communities Connect Network Project at the EdLab Group as their new project coordinator. In addition to supporting the work of the 39 public computing sites in the federal grant, she’s working on the new web portal which will be available as a resource to all. When asked what she was looking forward to accomplishing on the project, Katrina responed, "I am very pleased to join this important effort to support and sustain the work that people are doing in community technology labs in the Seattle region and across our state. Building the capacity of these labs - and extending their services to more citizens - is vital to the ongoing push for digital inclusion."
Katrina spent ten years at Microsoft and several years working on a variety of education and public policy related projects for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other local nonprofit organizations. She has an MPA from Seattle University’s Institute of Public Service and has been a tutor in Seattle Public Schools. You can contact Katrina here.
Community Broadband Adoption, Impact and Sustainability (CBAIS) is the title of a national conference convening June 27-28, in Cleveland, Ohio. Hosted by OneCommunity, this event is for public computing center staff and those working on broadband adoption to learn from each other, share best practices and brainstorm solutions. See more on the One Community site here.seniors get wired through seniors
training seniors computer classes
Want to learn how to use the World Wide Web, email friends and draft basic Word documents? The Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens’ Seniors Training Seniors computer classes may be for you.
Seniors Training Seniors Technology Program offers unique computer classes for adults over the age of 50 at sites throughout Seattle. Small class sizes of three to six seniors are taught by trained volunteer instructors in a safe and relaxed atmosphere. Each person learns at his or her own pace. Most classes cost between $10 and $15 per person.
Personal growth community classes include the basic computer introduction skills, advanced email skills, Microsoft Word and photo editing.
Job-related computer classes are offered to those who are currently unemployed and seeking new skills. Participants can learn beginning and intermediate word processing, spreadsheet, and file management skills. Some computer knowledge and typing skills are required.
For more information on class locations and schedules, please contact Patti-Lyn Bell, Human Services Department, Mayor’s Office for Senior Citizens, at (206) 684-0639.comcast cares day at el centro de la raza
The tenth anniversary of Comcast Cares Day was spent at El Centro de la Raza, as more than 350 volunteers from Comcast, City Year, the community and El Centro de la Raza joined forces to tackle countless volunteer projects. This special event has grown to become one of the largest single-day corporate volunteer efforts in the country, and El Centro de la Raza was proud to host it on Saturday, April 30.
The day's projects saved El Centro de la Raza tens of thousands of dollars in maintenance and upkeep that could not have been done otherwise.
As a non-profit organization, El Centro de la Raza relies on partnering with volunteers year-round in countless ways to help serve more than 22,884 individuals in their 32 human services programs annually. Some of the team projects included pruning trees, landscaping the grounds, prepping and painting of the halls and stairwells, window washing, and installing new flood lights and cameras for the safety of participants and the community. Office projects include graphic design opportunities, data entry, auction item procurement and others.
For more information on Comcast Cares Day and how your organization can be a beneficiary of this great effort, go here. To learn more about El Centro de la Raza’s great programs, visit their web page.free wireless for eligible households
SafeLink Wireless is making the vision of universal access to telecommunications services for all Americans a reality. As of October 2009, SafeLink has more than two million customers and is available in 33 states.
Income eligible households receive a free cell phone and free airtime each month. Eligibility guidelines vary by state but in general, individuals qualify if they participate in a public assistance program such as Food Stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), National Free School Lunch, Federal Housing/Section 8 Assistance, or if they do not receive any of these public assistance programs, they may still qualify based on total household gross monthly income.
Please contact Sandra Mears, outreach specialist, to schedule a venue to sign eligible customers for SafeLink service.s.e.c.u.r.i.t.y
may 17: national cyber safety awareness day
As cyberbullying has become more frequent and increasingly vicious, the importance of educating parents about how to protect their kids is of paramount importance. National Cyber Safety Awareness Day on May 17th sheds light on this issue and promotes awareness of the online dangers facing children.
To help educate parents, teachers, and counselors, America’s leading cyberbullying prevention expert, Shawn Edgington, has organized a book drive for The Megan Meier Foundation. The goal is to obtain donations of 1,000 copies of Edgington’s newest book, The Parent’s Guide to Texting, Facebook and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World, to help the foundation’s founder, Tina Meier, educate people about how to prevent cyberbullying by giving away books at her speaking events nationwide.
Full story here: National Cyber Safety Awareness Day Is May 17.
For the aging population that wants to stay connected, it is helpful to know some of the options available. Your computer can be configured so that you can enlarge the screen and be notified when things happen that you may not hear. Configuring these features depends on which operating system you are using, so I would recommend speaking to a computer expert with specifics on how to control these in your computer environment.
Basic Software Types
When it comes to purchasing hardware or software, make sure that it is compatible with your computer system. Some of the supporting hardware may require additional hardware for your computer. Talk to an expert.
Agree or disagree with me? Drop me a note: Derrick Hall.d.o.l.l.a.r.s
Bill Wright Technology Matching Fund
Neighborhood Matching Small and Simple Projects Fund
Assistive Technology Grants
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