E-Centre Work plans

On Friday February 1, 2002, we gathered with the E-Center staff to discuss the services that the E-center could provide to the community. These services include:

- train kids in the school to use Internet for research
- computer training for all ages
- computer support & repair

- training in the use of VC (especially health staff)

We encouraged the E-Centre staff to think about the support and training they need to provide the services:

- Accounting
- Marketing
- Proposal writing
- Business development
- Advanced computer training
- Computer programming
- Training on troubleshooting
- Training on network management
- Financial management
- More equipment (PC, VC, Printers)
- Training for other models of computers, software, OS
- Training for facilitating workshops

 

A framework was prepared to help the E-Centre staff prepare a work plan:

Service/Training Who pays/How much For whom When How Monitoring

The E-Centre staff will be working on preparing a draft work plan at discuss it at the conference in Thunder Bay (Feb. 11, 2002).

Follow-up

We need to keep regular communication with E-Centre managers to support them and encourage them to keep recording people's impressions, especially on video.

E-Centre managers are encouraged to share this report with those people who were missing from each workshop session and invite their inputs.

Resources of possible use to E-Centre staff

A major task for the E-Centre will be demonstration of the technology and training. To help understand the different levels of training, we shared a diagram from a research paper presented by Jan van Dijk, University of Twente, the Netherlands at the Digital Divide conference in Austin Texas (November 16-18, 2001). The paper was entitled "Divides in Succession: Possession, skills and use of the new media for participation" and provides a model of the different types of skills people require to make the technology relevant to their work:


A Cumulative and Recursive Model of Types of Access to New Media (van Dijk, 2001)

This model shows the four different types of access that people go through.

Under skills, it shows that different types of training is necessary: instrumental skills are about operating a computer, informational skills are about searching, selecting, processing information from a computer and from a network or the Internet, and strategic skills are about integrating, valuing and applying the information to ones' job or task. Only when these are accomplished can we talk about people using the technology toward different applications.

The sectoral workshops focused on the applications for the technology to improve health, education, local government and economic development.

What this model tells us is that the E-Centre staff have to invest a great deal of attention on the first few types of access and skills before we can expect the full potential of the applications to have an impact.

The model also shows that the sequence of access and skills is needed for each new innovation (that is what is meant by "recursive", it comes back), so as new technology arrives, people often go through some of the same steps to become familiar with it and put it to effective use.

The needs assessment tool and knowledge and skill assessment tool we left with the E-Centre managers are helpful mostly for the skills development dimension; in future we may need to find/develop other tools to track skill and knowledge gain on the applications.