Mission: Community Tech Network (CTN) unites organizations and volunteers to transform lives through digital literacy.
CTN works with a variety of organizations across the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Texas to close the digital divide. CTN provides a range of services to address technology related issues faced by underserved communities. Our services include program planning, staff training, volunteer training, fund development, community outreach and evaluation support. Our partners include housing developments, senior centers, social service agencies and other community-based organizations. Learners gain skills essential to full participation in our 21st-century society such as how to access public services online, job-searching techniques, online education, and interacting with others online safely. Additionally, users are able to stay connected to family and friends around the world.
Target demographics: Transform lives through digital literacy
Geographic areas served: San Francisco & Austin
Programs: Digital Skills Training: As technology becomes more ingrained in how we access essential services, research information and communicate with friends and family, we need to recognize that not everyone understands how to use the tools or will be able to figure it out themselves. The myriad of different devices, programs, apps, and operating systems makes gaining basic digital skills challenging and maintaining those skills even more difficult. Understanding WHY the internet is important and HOW it can positively impact someone's life is a key factor in getting individuals to invest in becoming digitally literate. Compassionate, patient instruction is key.
Connect @ Home: Being connected to the internet at home, having a device that meets your needs, and knowing how to use this combination independently and safely is a high priority for CTN. While having access to the internet through public computers has many benefits, home connection opens a world of opportunity to people with mobility and schedule constraints. But getting connected (device and internet access) isn't always easy. This is especially difficult for older adults and people who have low levels of income or education. Coupling digital literacy with other in-home services bridges a significant gap for the most marginalized and most in need.
Developing Digital Leaders: Addressing the digital skills gap in underserved communities requires a large and diverse team of trainers who develop trust and rapport with uncertain learners. Our digital trainers represent the communities we serve because they also live in those communities, speak their languages and know their customs. A majority of our trainers are volunteers who receive substantial training to understand how to work with new computer users, an orientation
at their placement location, access to training videos, and monthly training opportunities. Developing and supporting skilled instructors is central to delivering effective learning experiences.
Hello,My name is Will.I am a volunteer with Community Tech Network at its location in the wonderful city of San Francisco. Volunteering with CTN is a Wonderful experience. Working with seniors at a local community center here in the city is very rewarding . The seniors I work with are so Awesome and we share teachable moments.It's great. The thing is, I never would of had this opportunity had not The Awesome staff at CTN not allowed me to be a part of their community to help bridge the digital divide, I am very grateful.Thank You CTN.
CTN facilitates an iPad training program at St Francis Living Room in the Tenderloin. It is a truly transformative, impactful, and rewarding effort. We identify interested learners who receive refurbished iPads and participate in 3-4 weeks of 1-on-1 training with myself or another volunteer. Upon completion of the training, learners are invited to take full ownership of their iPads. Many of our learners have never used or owned a tablet before, and this program provides them not only with a powerful and fun new device, but more importantly the means to *connect* -- with information, services, family, friends, and entertainment. It is an utter delight to see our learners light up as they acquire new skills and discover the functionality of these devices.
There's an exceptional amount of love and passion that drives this organization. As a volunteer I am constantly amazed at their drive and how organized they are being such a small focused and dedicated group of people.
CTN has crafted and facilitated Microsoft Office trainings for our staff over the past couple years. Each lesson CTN creates is clear and thoughtful and delivers practical tips and information for users of all skill levels. Our staff truly appreciate the patience of CTN instructors and are grateful to CTN for providing them with practical professional development opportunities.
CTN has been an integral partner at the NeighborNest. They've been vital in helping us develop and teach digital literacy curriculum, and bridge the digital divide for families in San Francisco's most challenged neighborhoods. They work, not only with sound expertise and judgement, but also with incredible charisma, compassion, and commitment to continual improvement. I'm beyond grateful for our partnership.
Professional with expertise in this field
Raphael House is a residential program for homeless families. The gift of CTN is an integral component of our mission to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. It’s critically important in today’s economy for all individuals to have access to reliable resources that will afford them the opportunity to acquire skills or upgrade existing skills. Such opportunities have an additional benefit for individuals – along with developing and improving their hard skills, they are able to develop and improve their soft skills. Our partnership with CTN is a gift that keeps on giving. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, CTN.
Professional with expertise in this field
Working with CTN we have been able to provide more classes for our guests due to their ability to find and train highly skilled volunteers. Also, through CTN’s extensive network we have been able to brainstorm with other service providers and develop stronger service plans.