Net Literacy, the Mary Riggs Community Center, and IPS Work to Donate an Additional 1050 Computers

Net Literacy, Mary Riggs Community Center, and IPS are working to distribute computers repurposed at Broad Ripple Magnet High School to the families of K12 IPS students and to afterschool programs that support IPS.

“Liz Odel,” said Daniel Kent, “has been leading the charge in facilitating the distribution of computers to dozens of IPS schools.” According to Kent, IPS families have received more than 200 computers last month and 100 have been staged to be transported by IPS Transportation to North West High School. In total, IPS families and afterschool programs have received more than 18,000 computers.

“I’m really pleased that we are able to donate higher end computers to the K12 families,” Kent said. “All of the PCs are dual core machines with 2 to 4 Gig of Ram. They have plenty of horsepower for students to use them to complete their homework Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations.” Included on the computers is Open Office, and other applications that help students take advantage of their computers for school work.

For more information, email me at danielkent(at)

Harshman Middle School Uses Net Literacy Computers to Make STEM Learning Real World and Relevant!

Students in Ms. Caren Lettofsky’s computer science classes, at Indianapolis Public School’s Harshman Middle School, learn about computers by reassemble their own computer.

Ms Lettofsky

First, Ms. Lettofsky first has the students build a virtual computer, using a website created by Cisco. This site walks students through various steps to build a desktop computer. This part of the website gives hints and guidance as to what to do. Once the students has completed this part of the website, the students then move to the next phase of the website and build the computer without any added help. Ms. Lettofsky also has the students complete a worksheet where the students must explain, in their own words, what the various parts of a computer does.

Virtual Computer Assembly Application

Learning then becomes very real for the students. Students, in teams of two, work on computers provided by Net Literacy. First, each team completely disassembles the computer. Then the hard work begins as each team reassembles their computer.

Two students at Harshman

When each team believes they have reassembled the computer correctly, the team presents the reassembled computer to Ms. Lettofsky. The computer is then connected to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor and powered on to make certain that it was correctly reassembled and properly works!

Two Girls at Harshman

Finally, then the hard work begins as each team reassembles their computer and presents the reassembled computer to Ms. Lettofsky to make certain that it was correctly reassembled and properly works! Now for some of the students, here’s the best part!

Hands at Harshman

Students whose family doesn’t have a computer at home gets to take the computer they just reassembled (together with a monitor, mouse, keyboard, and cables) home! Students can now use their computer for homework and learning. This is very important because students with a computer at home are 7% more likely to graduate from high school.


“It’s fun!” – J. D.

“I couldn’t believe it when my computer worked! I didn’t think I could do it.” – J. G.

“He’s been talking about this all week! He hasn’t been this excited about school for years!” – Grandfather of R. S.

“I really love seeing the kids go from ‘I can’t’ or ‘This is too hard” to ‘Look what I did!!’ It’s a real confidence booster!” – Ms. Lettofsky

Click on the link letters to Net Lit to read the students’ thank you notes to us!

Net Literacy congratulates Harshman Middle School and Ms. Caren Lettofsky for teaching in an innovative and engaging real world manner!

Lone Eagle Consulting’s “People Ready” Broadband Entrepreneurship and Digital Literacy Curriculum

One size does not fit all and Lone Eagle Consulting helps provide online training for rural remote, at-risk, and indigenous learners. We especially liked this focus on indigenous learners and wanted to share the following:

The Self-directed Digital Literacy Training and Resource Guide for All Learners

Lone Eagle Online Courses

Community Training Resources

Social Media Training Resources

For additional information, please visit:

CodeNow Teaches Students How to Code

CodeNow (a non-profit organization) focuses on developing the next pioneers in technology by teaching underserved youth foundational skills in computer science and programming with the objective of narrowing the current digital divide. The organization teaches high school students the basics of computer programming and computer science in free, extra-curricular, off-campus trainings and boot camps. Each student who completes their program receives a netbook, mentoring and assistance finding internships.

Working with numerous partners, the organization successfully launched its pilot program in DC in August.  In 2012 CodeNow will expand to four cities.

As founder Ryan Seashore says, “coding is the new literacy, it gives youth the ability to create and innovate.” This fantastic program gives high school students the tools to Win the Future.

To learn more about their program, go to or follow them on twitter @CodeNowOrg.

Read more:

JobScout Teaches Job Skills Using Online Game

JobScout is like many of the start-ups launching on a daily basis in Silicon Valley, except for the fact that many of its users do not even know how to use the Internet yet. A project that has been supported and seed funded by the California State Library, JobScout is a platform that provides an interactive online environment that uses game design to teach job-hunting skills and the digital literacy basics that are necessary for finding employment. Users will be able to get support in the pilot phase at nearly 140 pilot sites at library branches in California, including locations in Los Angeles County and San Jose. The libraries, a place of resources and community for many potential users, will provide entry points and guidance for new users.

Users earn badges for lessons completed and can track success and progress. Characters greet users as they enter and complete lessons. A job aggregator lets users know of the latest jobs available in their area that meet their interests. A resume builder function enables users to create a resume and print it to submit. A variety of resources for job hunting are contained in one database, streamlining the job seeking process.

The basics of the Internet that are second nature to some are thoroughly covered: Opening and using email, submitting a query on a search engine and using Facebook and LinkedIn to create profiles and find job opportunities. While the content is geared towards users finding, applying to and acquiring jobs, the lessons teach skills that reach far beyond their immediate goal.

The system’s do-it-yourself methodology and technology that learns with the users as they use it will provide an educational experience parallel to other platforms that have proven successful online. A variety of online initiatives, whether Khan Academy for math and sciences or Code Academy for the advanced Internet user who wants to pick up programming skills, have proven that self-paced and enjoyable online learning experiences are the future of education, regardless of the subject.

True access includes the appropriate infrastructure, access points, hardware and digital literacy skills to be a participant in our online community. In an era of development and companies focusing on “social,” inclusion is critical.

The platform launches this Wednesday with a live demonstration online and can be found at

Read more:

Freedom Rings Partnership will bring Internet access, training, and technology to low-income residents of Philadelphia

The Freedom Rings Partnership is a $25 million federally-funded initiative led by the Urban Affairs Coalition and the City of Philadelphia, with Drexel University as a major partner.

The Freedom Rings Partnership is made up of grassroots organizations, government, and universities that will bring Internet access, training and technology to residents in low-income communities.  This multi-year initiative officially kicked off on January 17, 2011 by sponsoring the signature project of the MLK Day of Service – refurbishing used computers to be distributed back into the community, assembling digital literacy kits, and hosting a high-tech scavenger hunt called “Race to Connect.”

“The goal of the Freedom Rings Partnership is to help eliminate the digital divide by enhancing and expanding underserved communities’ knowledge of and access to the Internet so they can acquire information about employment, education, health, and community and economic development, said Matlock-Turner, President and CEO of the Urban Affairs Coalition. “This project will open doors, enhance lives and create access and job opportunities through technology.”

The Freedom Rings Partnership will reach over 100,000 Philadelphians with information about the importance of broadband to their daily lives; provide hands-on training to 15,000 people at over 130 locations citywide, including 77 public computer centers; and distribute 5,000 “netbooks” to public housing residents who complete technology skills training. Public Computer Centers (PCC) will be located across Philadelphia, primarily in north, south and west Philadelphia.  Locations will include a variety of recreation centers, health and social service organizations, workforce development agencies, and nonprofits. In addition, 4 mobile computer labs will travel throughout the city to provide training and Internet access to underserved communities.

The first Graduation Ceremony for the Freedom Rings Computer Training Program, held Aug. 11, 2011. Each graduate to complete the program walked home with a free Dell netbook computer. Courtesy of GPUAC.

For more information, please visit: