Solutions: Inclusion - Technology Awareness
Develop a Community-Based Technology Awareness Group
GOAL: Organize, promote, and deliver a technology awareness program that would increase use of technology resources in the community.
DESCRIPTION: Conduct an extensive advertising campaign to raise awareness about the benefits of broadband and related technology. Methods should include, but not be limited to, classroom style awareness sessions, press conferences led by community leaders, hosting a speaker at a community event, posting community posters and handouts, and producing public service announcements.
The public awareness campaign should focus on helping residents, particularly those from underserved communities, understand the personal value they can derive from an investment in information technology.
There are also opportunities to leverage existing resources to expand and enhance workforce-training programs, encourage more post-secondary education, and create additional awareness within the community in regard to global resources. It is important to support the outcomes of awareness training with the development of technology training programs that will then teach community members how to use the technology.
The campaign should specifically target technology non-adopters.
Determine the type of public awareness campaign that is appropriate for your community. By using established media, the campaign reaches non-adopters where they are. Public radio, broadcast and cable TV, utility bill stuffers, and print newspapers have been used to reach households of many types.
Develop and host a technology summit for residents and businesses to increase awareness of broadband value, service options, and the potential impact on quality of life. The technology summit should facilitate community partnerships between leaders in local government and the private sector, including non-profits and private businesses in the education, healthcare, and agriculture sectors, with the goal of ensuring that residents have at least one place in the community to use powerful new broadband technologies, and that this asset will be sustained over time.
Further, the technology summit should highlight success stories as evidence of the impact of technology.
Create a centralized technology portal/website that promotes local technology resources for use by residents. Resources would include calendars (promoting local tech events and showing available hours at public computer centers), online training resources, and local computer resources.
Non-profit organizations; Libraries and schools; Parent-Teacher Organizations; Broadband providers with low-cost programs; Senior centers; Social service providers; Local and county government
Connect Ohio’s statewide Every Citizen Online public awareness campaign: http://connectohio.org/public-awareness-campaigns.
FCC’s Household Broadband Guide for determining needed speeds: http://fcc.us/2df8sIQ.