Tech For All Training Classes Generate Success Stories

Pictured: Vic Sowell at the computer, making use of his newfound computer literacy.

Technology For All (TFA) has provided free computer training, under the banner of the Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2) partnership, to rural and underserved communities in Texas since 2009. Since then, thousands of users have attended a number of classes amounting to more than 3 million total hours in training. The training, ranging from basic computer and Internet skills through social media and word processors, helps students to become empowered through computer use.

Users have written letters to TFA, expressing their satisfaction with the training classes, and their newfound computer literacy. Cozetta Taylor, a volunteer at the Jewett Public Library, says that “rarely does a day go by without a patron coming into the library to find out about computer classes.” All of the volunteers at the Jewett Public Library have attended the classes, to better serve the library’s patrons and answer their computer questions. “Now we can give help to the ‘drop ins’ who come to use the computers,” says Cozetta. “What a great pleasure it is… to see so many people using the computers, many of whom had no idea how to even start before your classes.”

Training classes across the state are regularly attended by senior citizens, who find that the skills and knowledge they pick up from class provide opportunities they never knew existed. Dixie Lowry, a student at the Ward Memorial Library, says she was intimidated by computers before taking classes, but “these classes have really opened [her] eyes to a whole new world.”

Another user, Vic Sowell, shared his success story with Technology For All. Vic was burglarized previously, and lost many files that could not be replaced. Recently, he attended a Technology For All emergency preparedness class on scanning documents into the computer. Now Vic feels safer backing up valuable papers and information, and grows more confident with each class. “A new world is opening up for me,” says Vic. “Before taking some of the classes offered, my granddaughter schooled me… Now I’m showing her things.”

Even teachers are finding they have much to learn from the computer classes. Delores Nevland, a retired high school English teacher, is eager to learn how to use her new laptop. “I thought that at 73 years old, I was too old to learn to use it,” she says. “Now I know… I have the confidence that I can do it. I am writing this letter on the computer. What a miracle to me!” Delores has also taken classes on the topic of emergency preparedness, as well as email and Skype so she can contact friends and relatives.

Like many of the success stories sent to TFA by students, Delores ends hers with a statement of her gratitude for the classes. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn that Technology For All gives the citizens of our great country… Please continue the classes in the future.” Technology For All’s training continues to benefit users, especially those who are new to the world of computers, by teaching them the skills and confidence they need to fulfill their ever-increasing need to conduct business and social matters online.