September 16, 2011
I must jump in and piggy back on what my colleague, Peter, wrote about: the issue of feeling too small. I manage the Literacy Coalition's digital literacy project, and it's easy to feel like we're not making a big enough difference--just a drop in the ocean. Thousands of hours have been devoted to trying to help people learn how to use a computer and the internet in hopes of moving them into more meaningful jobs. But how much good are we really doing? More often than not I need a reminder that we really are changing lives, even if it's just one. So as a weekend send-off to myself, here's what our digital-literacy learners have to say: "There’s a whole world in the computer and I didn’t know that. I suspected it, but I had no idea how to access any of it. But these classes showed me how." "[My new computer skills are] going to help me in school. Before I took the class all I did was check my email and my facebook. And that’s it. I’m entering university in the fall. And I’m going to use the computer for I suppose all my classes, any research I’m going to do." "[Now]I can find anything I want. Simply type it in and there it is." "I feel better about how I can use the computer. I don’t feel helpless now. I’m learning. It’s easy to catch on. Sometimes I get lost but I ask the teacher and he helps me get back on track." "Now that I am doing the computer I’m thinking about going back to work. I’m thinking about writing a book on the computer. We all need an ego boost once in a while.