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Digital Literacy is a Part of Everyone's Future

April 18, 2017, by Tabitha Gregory, Chief Customer Relations Officer, Copper Valley Telecom

A person's ability to understand and use technology is almost as important as their ability to read and write the English language. This is a strong statement, and we say it because here at Copper Valley Telecom we see firsthand how important it is that each person – regardless of age, gender, education or career path – has at least basic mastery of skills such as how to operate a computer and a cell phone, how to set up social media sites and web accounts, and how to update software. As time goes by and more of our world's communications, educational opportunities, employment, and entertainment involve technology, those who are not digital literate fall behind and become increasingly isolated.

At Copper Valley, it has become progressively more important to us to help our community members acquire and update their knowledge and understanding of technology. In 2016, we expanded our efforts by offering our first official "Digital Literacy" classes in cooperation with Prince William Sound College. During those classes, we taught students in Valdez and the Copper Basin basic computer and Internet skills. In early 2017, we offered a more specialized mini-course in cooperation with Valdez Parks & Recreation and the Healthier You Program where we explored fitness technology such as Fitbits and smart water bottles. We also reintroduced individualized one-on-one smartphone training sessions.

We received suggestions and made observations after these courses and have now developed a series of mini-courses that we think will further help groups of residents improve their ability to use technology and web-based resources that, in turn, can improve quality of life.

Over the next nine months, CVT will offer the following classes. They are all free of charge. Stay tuned for announcements about dates, times, and locations. Also, call or email us to receive notification if there are topics in which you are specifically interested. Please note that the topics below are subject to change.

In addition to these great opportunities, Prince William Sound College is offering two one-credit summer classes: Quickbooks CIOS A120A - Bookkeeping Software Applications I: QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel CIOS A135A - Spreadsheets I: MS Excel. PWSC recommends that students for these two classes have basic computer skills. For information on these classes, contact the college directly.

We encourage all residents of our region to make a goal in 2017 to take one or two steps to increase their knowledge of technology. We hope you will consider attending one of our sessions, attending a class at the college or on-line, or stopping by to get one-on-one assistance with your smartphone.

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