MILTON – Residents of the valley who need to improve their computer skills, or who simply need access to technology, are invited to participate in a free one-year program offered by the Central Intermediate Unit of Susquehanna (CSIU).
CSIU received a state grant of $ 135,000 to establish four computer labs located in Milton, Lewisburg, New Columbia and Bloomsburg, where a trainer will be available to train or guide individuals on laptops.
“The COVID pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of technology,” said Mary Mingle, adult education and digital literacy program manager at CSIU. “Employers say many workers lack basic computer skills. In our experience, the majority of people who need services do not have laptops or desktops.
A 2019 poll by the Pew Research Center showed that the majority of American adults can correctly answer less than half of the questions on a digital literacy quiz. Many have faced some cybersecurity and privacy issues, the researchers said.
Most of the average people in the US can answer questions correctly on topics like phishing scams or website cookies, but they struggled with other topics like two-factor authentication .
“Only 28% of adults can identify an example of two-factor authentication – one of the most important ways experts say to protect their personal information on sensitive accounts,” the researchers reported.
According to the report, 24% of Americans knew that private browsing only hides browser history from other users of that computer. About half of the respondents, 49%, said they didn’t know what private browsing does.
In addition to providing formal in-person and online computer training with the option of obtaining a certificate, participants will learn which sites to avoid, how to find reliable information on the Internet, and how to monitor a child’s use of technology, help individuals to use the computer for job searches, resume writing, interviews and other uses.
Susan Bastian is a digital literacy specialist who will work in computer labs.
“We’ll find out their keyboard skills and move on,” she said.
Everyone is welcome, free of charge, to visit the labs when they are open as many times as they want, Mingle said.
“They might not want training, but they can use the technology in the labs,” she said.