• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


Tools and Techniques for Managing a Digital Inclusion Program

Page history last edited by Lawrence Beasley 10 years, 5 months ago Saved with comment

Description: Whether you are in an SBA project, a PCC project or a non-federally funded digital inclusion program, you'll find this session helpful. David (supported by his decade of work in community technology) will guide an open discussion of strategies for managing your program. Bring your questions and ideas to the session. David will kick it off, but this is an open exchange so we can respond to your questions. We'll be using this page to share our ideas and practical tips. Join in!


Topics for the discussion are open, but will touch on what systems (human and tech) do you use to manage programs, approaches to staffing, strategic planning, finding resources to help, program policies, and resource management. We'll go in depth or breadth as participants want.  Be sure to share your links to resources here too!


Time: Tuesday 11:00-12:00


Location: Embassy Room



Facilitator: David Keyes, City of Seattle Community Technology Program 



Here are a couple resources with more to come at the session:
What is Digital Inclusion
(pdf), What does it take to run a community tech center worksheet,,Telecentre.org resources (incl. guide to managing telecentre networks)
 Powerpoint with resources 



David Keyes - 14 years experience working with Digital Inclusion


Framing:     Access, Literacy & Content


All participants in this session belong to a Non-profit, Educational institution, or Government institution


"Building Digitally Inclusive Communities Report"

     Breaks it down to 11 principles - on the information tables in our conference.

  1. Availability and affordability
  2. Public access
  3. Accessibility for people with disabilities
  4. Adoption and digital literacy
  5. Consumer education and protetction
  6. Education
  7. Economic and workforce development
  8. Civic engagement
  9. Public safety and emergency services
  10. Health care
  11. Quality of life 


First - identify "Who we are, and Who we Serve"

     Organizations, Demographics

Then - "What we provide?" and "Who is responsible to provide that service?"


Juggle! It's a constant act to keep all of these points afloat.


What are we managing?

Budget & contracts

Staff, Volunteers Boards


Marketing & outreach

Hardware, software, connectivity





Strategic Planning



BTOP Discuss: James Losey: losey@newamerica.net

Tincan BTOP list(Karen Michaelson) kmichaelson@asisna.com

Digital Inclusion Network List: http://e-democracy.org/di


Community Technology Network Bay area  (CTN): ctnbayarea.org

Communities Connect Network (CCN): communitiesconnect.org

Telecentre.org (and http://www.telecentre.org/resources/community-guide/)

Telecentre.org in Spanish http://telecentre-comunidad.ning.com/



Non-profit Technology Network (NTEN): NTEN.org (webinars to help non-profits with strategic management)

Techsoup.org  for software, some hardware discounts, forums

Idealware.org (software)

Groundwire.org/resources (how often to FB/Twitter for marketing purposes, etc. - tips and suggestions)

Aspira CTC Manuals http://www.aspira.org/it-planning-tools http://www.aspira.org/manuals/community-technology-center-ctc (planning tools)

Benton Broadband Plan tracking: http://benton.org/initiatives/national_broadband_plan (posting & tracking elements of the Broadband Plan)


Question: How close are you to working with your local library systems if they're not part of a grant?

     Can you link in with the library?

          Librarians are "Content Kings" - very good with information, searching information workshops & topics - great resource for that

          Is there an opportunity to use the Library for our classes?

               Co-sponsor the program? Train the trainers? Interchange information from Library staff to your Digital Inclusion Staff

          Shared Outreach/Marketing opportunities - based on when 

     Be careful about hierarchies - outreach to management to generate the shared program

     Unions may also present a hurdle when activities compete with the existing jobs in the library system


     In New York - partnership fit right in with the goal of the library and a program so it was a seamless fit.

     In Detroit - also had bureaucracy issues and union, but were able to negotiate instructors to teach the classes and open lab potential for members of the community to access                     additional help outside of the training session


How long should classes take?

     Build a community of users...

     Think about programs that are welcoming, sense of accomplishment, and a sense of shared learning and teaching - students learn from each other

     Be responsive of what the capacity of your participants are

          Their time, their education level & learning style

     Have students set GOALS for themselves


     That said - there are 3-4 types


     Workshop - Orientations (1 session)

     Ongoing series

     One-on-One session 


Shorter sessions, meeting more often:

     Easy for participants to fit it into their schedule if they want to get through the material faster - "One and done"

     Better retention class to class as the material is fresh 


12 week, 1 hour class / week VS 6 week, 2x1hr class /week

     What we learned:     12 weeks - participant doesn't have the "sticktoitiveness" - they come up with excuse


What gets them to come back?

     Stepped program

          Separate out by section & topic



               Microsoft Product



Create a sense of completion - necessary!

     Graduations & celebration


What's an activity that they create that is relevant to them? Accomplishment with the finished product


Experience from somebody that doesn't have a centralized lab: 30 community labs

     Stretched classes out to 10 weeks - 1.5 hours maximum

     Allowed ease of scheduling as it is congruent with seasonal schedules and changes in schedules of instructors becomes more seamless


Consistency with instructors is needed.


Volunteers become assistants. 


Ashbury Center - 8 weeks - twice a week, 2 hours; Saturday class once a week for 3 hours

     Students want to continue after the session is completed even if the hook is the computer and access

     Learning process they are exposed to motivates them to learn more

     Encourages students to volunteer to learn more and still be in the learning environment


Winston Salem - Scheduling

     Solution: Retrieve software for scheduling through school systems - inexpensive

     Good suggestions coming from Samantha:

     SchedulerPlus - used by Las Vegas Urban League (http://www.peoplecube.com/products-other-scheduler-plus.htm)

Actually we are using the following for scheduling in Las Vegas:

Visual Staff Scheduler (VSS) Pro (http://www.abs-usa.com/products/vss/index.epl)

(I was thinking of a different project for scheduler plus -- its best for room/facility management -- Lawrence).


To what extent is our project's goal intertwined with the mission of the organization as a whole?

     Is my work contained in the mission statement?

     Do the strategic plan of the organization align with my activity, and vice versa?


     More companies are incorporating the technology piece into their mission statements?

          When you don't have it - the touchstone moves around and lose the framework to make decisions for the organization. Goals help make informed decisions.


Jim Collins


There may be Foundations that pay attention to Organizational Effectiveness - they may be able to help consult with your strategic planning.




Sharing Job Descriptions to help find effective employees

Check for additional examples online


Easier to teach somebody technology rather than the skills and interpersonal skills - keep in mind when hiring.


Management has focus - Marketing, Systems, Curriculum, etc.

Instructors has two levels - Teaching & Outreach

     Trainers should do outreach as well


Capture your trainer's knowledge and share it beyond the class time - include that information and share with others - through newsletters and communications


Allow staff to have time to meet together and build it in to share best practices - regardless of constraints because it has great long term effects for improvement

Better time management


Tech-savvy people are useful in curriculum development - they can offer great suggestions in addition to the non-technologically oriented instructor. Although be careful of techies that don't like people! Instructors that don't have tech skills will get an "empathy" with the students that will help with the instruction.


During interview process,Detroit included mock training sessions. Gauges people skills and technical skills. 



Common training problems coming up in Rural areas - hard to include IT experts - they just aren't there living there.

Tech savvy people are more likely to move on to other jobs as well.


As a teacher - the students look up to you for knowledge regardless of whether you're a techie or not. Teaching is an art, and it's essential to have a people person that will pay attention to the needs of the students.

Goal should be to have that student be able to teach what they learned that day - to another person.



Comments (2)

pquinn@ict.gov.qa said

at 6:01 am on Jun 27, 2011

I'm just about to start work on a national digital inclusion strategy for Qatar and this year we are running some pilot programs for citizens and residents who are currently excluded from technology. Interested in any unusual projects or suggestions your delegates may have.

David Keyes said

at 8:47 am on Jun 27, 2011

Two early starting points are 1) Determine who else should be at the table and consider a Council on Digital inclusion to guide values and strategies (and bring in resources); 2) Map existing resources (who is already providing services and training). In Seattle we developed a set of Goals for a Technology Healthy Community (http://seattle.gov/tech/indicators/goals.htm). You can also see some specific programs we're running at http://seattle.gov/tech/overview/ .

You don't have permission to comment on this page.