Computer Workshop for our Students

March 7, 2011 at 10:45 AM | Posted in Community, ESOL, Family Learning, Information Technology, Teaching, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment
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Elliot Zhang, one of our ESOL tutors, is a member of the Asian Diversity Networking group at his company (IBM).  A few months ago he approached the Council with the idea of having this group do a workshop for LCNV students who are interested in acquiring some computer skills.  Of course, we were delighted with the offer although we were uncertain how many students would take advantage of it.  We’ve often had difficulty getting our students come to events other than their regular language classes and tutoring sessions since many of them lead such busy lives.

The workshop took place last Saturday afternoon in our computer lab.  The turnout surpassed our wildest expectations.  Students from the classroom and tutoring programs came in equal numbers, and many of them brought along friends and family members.   In fact more people showed up than could fit in the room, and Elliot and his crew were forced to turn away some latecomers.

The workshop was a huge success.   Although some of the students had some prior knowledge of   computers, many of them were starting at ground zero, thirsting for answers to the most basic questions such as how to turn on the computer.  The attendees were extremely grateful for the opportunity and overjoyed at what they learned during the afternoon.  The only negative comment I heard was disappointment that the workshop was a single event rather than a continuing class.

The experience has led to interesting discussions among the Council staff regarding the desirability and/or feasibility of the council’s adding computer literacy classes to its other educational offerings.  Meanwhile, we all are extremely grateful to Elliot and his IBM colleagues for this excellent workshop – and hope we can convince them to do a repeat performance soon!

-Elise Bruml, Tutoring Programs Director

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A Busy Summer

August 19, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Posted in Announcements, Information Technology, Tutoring, Volunteers | Leave a comment

The summer of 2010 has definitely been a busy one. Trying to juggle working at a restaurant, graduate classes, and an internship isn’t always easy, but it does feel good to keep myself busy. It feels especially good to truly enjoy the projects I am currently working on. Since beginning my internship with LCNV over a month ago, I have gradually begun taking on more responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include projects that relate directly to what I’m currently studying, which is instructional design. Being able to work with the VOC task force on the Volunteer Online Community will allow me to apply my knowledge of instructional design to their vision.

The Volunteer Online Community will be an extension of the LCNV website, providing valuable information to both prospective and current volunteers. Things have been progressing quite well, as we have completed a site map (while working with Google Sites) and continue to work on incorporating other materials, including tutor and teacher handbooks, FAQ’s, and a message board that will allow volunteers to communicate with each other. Our goal is to create an interactive environment where volunteers can stay up to date on all LCNV trainings, in-services, and other events.

What has been particularly rewarding about joining the LCNV this summer is the fact that I am working towards what I believe to be a great cause. I firmly believe in the LCNV’s mission to teach adults the basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English. Being a part of this mission is what makes volunteering for the LCNV so enjoyable. It also helps that the staff is so friendly and welcoming to newcomers. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, the LCNV is a great place to start, as it can be truly gratifying to work towards making a difference in your community.

~Dave Lord, Intern

Nerd Herd Gets a Jump on Spring Cleaning

March 16, 2010 at 8:57 PM | Posted in Development, ESOL, Family Learning, Information Technology | Leave a comment

This is another report from LCNV’s Nerd Herd, which is made up of IT and end users. The Nerd Herd’s primary goal is to improve LCNV’s IT/end user processes.

Two years ago, LCNV upgraded to Microsoft Windows Small Business Server (‘SBS’), which is designed to run the network infrastructure of small and medium sized enterprises. One of SBS’s excellent features is its large storage capacity, which has enabled LCNV staff to make and store numerous files on the server’s ‘Shared Drive.’

In the interest of maintaining user and cost efficiencies, the Nerd Herd recently analyzed the makeup of the Shared drive and concluded that it needs to be pared down somewhat through the removal of redundant and outdated files. In short, the S drive needs a good old fashioned housecleaning to restore space taken up by the various unneeded files.

The plan is to reduce the number of Shared drive primary folders from the current level of 30 down to10 folders. Any unneeded files will be deleted and those that have historic, if not immediate, value will be placed in archive folders throughout the year, and once a year transferred to an external drive.

The initial cleanup will be completed by March 30, 2010, and the overall process will be continued day to day, with Nerd Herd checkups conducted quarterly.

~Wayne Shewmaker, Director of IT

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