I recently sat down with Mary Royal of ITS a technology company based in Wetumpka Alabama, I wanted to see what all the buzz was about in Coosa County and the Computer Classes that are being offered at the Middle School.
Why was this started?
When Central Middle School Coosa received a 1003G Grant, they received technology to set up 21st Century classrooms throughout the school. Parents and community members told us that their students were using all the new technology, and they did not know how to help their students. The Extension Service for Coosa County had been offering some Community Computer Classes, but they could only serve a few people at a time. The Coosa County School System, The Coosa County Extension Service, The Alabama Parent Education Center (APEC), and Information Transport Solutions (ITS) joined together to offer the classes at Central Middle School where we could serve more people.
We have location, date and times and its free (Room?)It is completely free. Room # M24 Handicap Accessible
Who is teaching the classes?Roger Vines, Coosa County Extension Service; Kelli Worthy, APEC; Jackie Ragan, ITS
Who is the training for?Anyone in the community who would like to learn the basics of using a computer.
What if you don’t speak English?There are very few non English speaking people in this community. I believe we could provide a translator if that was needed.
Why should someone attend? The levels of experience differ among the participants, but we teach just the basics.
Where can they go to practice these skills once learned? Some of the participants have a computer at their homes. The Extension Service has some computers that they may use, and Central Middle School has some computers for parent use in our Family and Community Resource room at the school. The use of these computers is free of charge.
What can they gain from these skills? In this class they learn how to operate Microsoft Word, save documents, and manipulate the computer. We also offer sessions on using the internet, email, social networking, and saving pictures. The parents feel like they are more able to help and monitor their students’ use of computers, and they feel connected to the modern world. A parent can check his child’s Facebook Page and community members can go on-line to find coupons for the grocery or check the weather. We even showed an aerial shot of the school from Google Earth. They can save pictures of their children and grandchildren and make an invitation to a party.
Will they acquire skills that can help them get a job? Since this is such a beginning class, it serves as an introduction to the computer. We have had several requests to offer a second level class that would include Power Point and Excel. That is being discussed. If we can get this level started, that might help someone get a job. We need more volunteers to expand our services!
We have one participant who writes stories. She wants to learn how to keep them on a computer, so perhaps she can publish them. She also wants to add photos to her stories. In the very last session, we try to give people extra time to practice and address specific needs that individuals might have.
Volunteers will do what? The volunteers are VERY busy. Some of the class members need one-to one assistance. We move around the room making sure everyone has found the right place on the screen. Several of the participants have never used a mouse or a laptop. Some of the more competent participants also help those who are truly touching a computer for the first time. Only a moderate amount of technology skill is needed to be a volunteer.
Coosa County Middle School:
Lisa McEwen; School Improvement Specialist for Coosa County Schools
Alabama Cooperative Extension System – Coosa County Extension Office
Roger C. Vines; County Extension Coordinator
P.O. Box 247
Rockford, AL 35136
Phone: (256) 377-4713
Fax: (256) 377-1271
Kelli Worthy Harrell; Coosa Family Engagement Specialist
Mary Royal; Consultant
Jackie Ragan; Academic Trainer
Melinda Miller; Marketing Manager
Community Computer Classes
Coosa County Middle School; Hanover
Room # M24
5:00 – 7:00 pm
Monday, September 26
Monday, October 3
Monday, October 10
Monday, October 17 <-->