Starting on August 22nd 2011 I began my first week in training as an Americorp Vista with CTN. Since there are two other Vista's serving with the Hands on Tech Corp in San Francisco (Jessica and Uno) it seemed to make sense that we all train together. We spent the majority of the week at Aspiration Tech's work space (http://www.aspirationtech.org/) where Uno and Jessica will be serving together for the next year.
Day one began at CTN's office at Valencia Gardens where we met with Kami who gave Mun and a run down of what to expect and what we would be doing for the next year. We then walked over to Aspiration by receiving some introductory motivational and inspiring words from Aspirations Executive Director Allen "gunner" Gunn. Throughout the week we learned about Aspiration's beliefs and concepts and how it applies to teaching nonprofits how to use technology. I thought it was interesting how they like to take the "techie" out of tech and how they don't want their clients to call them back after they've taught them. Aspiration goes by three basic concepts: people, process, technology. I feel that even though our work may be slightly different than that of aspirations these concepts can be applied to our teaching techniques throughout the year. The next day we took a trip up to Sacramento to see how one of the training's that aspiration gives works. Misty lead the training about how to create a publishing matrix (a useful chart for organizing your organizations social media) and how to use that publishing matrix to put your social media into social media dashboard or a website that lets you view your social media all at once. http://www.netvibes.com/en
Wednesday and Thursday were spent learning more in depth about how Aspiration and CTN work as well as an overview of the work that we would be doing for the next year. On Wednesday evening Mun and I attended the monthly CTN connects meeting. The meeting was a very informative session on different inexpensive low-income families and individuals can take to get themselves connected on the internet and have access to technology. On Thursday Kami and Lorna gave us some good insight onto web security and some important points we might teach to new users of the internet. I fond this topic particularly interesting not only from the standpoint of an experienced web user who found out about a few new tips on being careful when surfing the web, but also how important it is to teach web users the importance of security who may look past very important risk factors.
On Friday we sat in on another Aspiration training given by Matt who taught us and a few other nonprofits how to create a word press website. Having some experience in wordpress I was excited to see what else I might learn about creating a website. Word press is a free open source tool that can be used to either create a blog or web page. http://www.wordpress.org Mun and I were assigned to create a resource center website for BTOP (Broadband Technology Opportunity Program) in the bay area that will be eventually be used in the future. The session was extremely helpful and helped start a great website. You can check out our progress on the website here: http://test2.bettertools.org/ The week ended with a nice start to our year. I was really pleased on how much Mun and I were able to accomplish on the BTOP website and how it will eventually be up and running as a resource center for staff and volunteers in the bay area. I headed into the weekend apprehensive and unsure of what to expect at our week at the Google Complex.