TFA Overview Video

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Check out our new overview video.

Technology For All was recently selected for inclusion in the Giving Library, a groundbreaking initiative that connects donors to nonprofit organizations through online video interviews. In these interviews, our President and CEO, Will Reed, talks about the history, mission, vision and programs of Technology For All.  The videos are now available on the Giving Library website for anyone wanting to view more information on our organization.

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Adam and the Cat

For an Autistic Child, TFA Class Sparks an Interest

Until now, Adam hadn’t been interested in the computer.  The 3rd grader with high functioning autism preferred to walk in patterns around the classroom instead of sitting at his desk.

But on this day, the instructor was having the kids work with game-making software.  The software uses a Children at the computersimple interface that lets students develop a basic computer game.  The children are learning about technology at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bastrop County (BGBC) program in Smithville in a partnership with Technology For All (TFA).

The day started out as normal with Adam’s sister, Connie*, taking him gently by the hand and leading him into the classroom.  Adam shuffled in the door and stood next to Connie as she sat at the computer, then he paced back and forth behind his sister’s chair as she worked on today’s lesson.

Then something unusual happened.  Something on the computer screen caught Adam’s interest and he sat down next to his sister.

“I thought Adam had missed class, because I didn’t see him walking around”, said John Dees, TFA Training Manager who was monitoring the TFA classes.

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Program connects parents to their children’s education

Program connects parents to their children’s education

Technology For All, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, is partnering with schools in the Houston area to launch a program that encourages student success through parental engagement. Technology For All (TFA) will teach students and their parents how to use online tools which give immediate feedback on student grades and attendance and which allow the parents to communicate with their children’s teachers.  Many local school districts provide these tools, but they are under-utilized.

In the Houston Independent School District (HISD), the tool is called Parent-Student Connect.  It allows students and parents to monitor grades of homework, tests and overall GPA in a class, and to be alerted when those grades drop below or rise above a specified point. Additionally, the program keeps track of absences and sends notification to parents when a student is marked absent. Parents can also use the Parent-Student Connect tool to send direct messages to teachers when problems arise, and get other information about a student’s grades and attendance record.

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Tools of the Trade

TFA adopts a new client survey system

Word CloudHow do you measure mission?  In this age of accountability, it’s not enough for a nonprofit organization to just provide services, altruistic as they may be.  It’s necessary to demonstrate that the provided services are:

  • effective – accomplish the intended goals
  • efficient – have a reasonable cost per unit of service
  • impactful – improve the lives of clients and the communities in which they live

The mission of Technology For All (TFA) is to provide educational, economic and personal opportunities for low-income, under-served and vulnerable persons through the tools of technology.  We do this by providing computer access and training in low-income and under-served communities so that clients can achieve computer competencies that are essential for the new literacy of the 21st Century – competencies that are required for education and employment and for connecting to resources and to the community. So how do we measure our mission?

As of June 2014, we measure it with the aid of a new online client survey and case management system.

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Training Helps Families Stay Connected

Technology For All’s program specialists are always looking to help new computer users find ways to use technology to improve their life. Tom Swinnea, program specialist at the Bastrop Public Library, recently shared the success story of several of his students. Tom said, “With Technology For All, it is always a pleasure to work with someone creating their first email address.  For two Bastrop Public Library patrons, their email lives started last week.”

One older gentleman’s chief need is to communicate more easily with his relatives. He also wanted to share pictures with his extended family, so Tom’s classes taught him email basics, including how to send emails with photo attachments.

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