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Posted on: December 28, 2023

Improve tech skills and get chances to win a Chromebook in January

Jeri Kent

The Stillwater Public Library (SPL) will offer free digital literacy classes in January that cover the basics of computer use, cybersecurity, internet navigation and Android smartphone use. The classes are part of a nationwide grant provided by AT&T and the Public Library Association (PLA) to help bridge the digital divide.

All workshop attendees will enter a drawing to win a series of Chromebook giveaways. Jeri Kent won the first drawing after attending two free classes this fall at Our Daily Bread. There are still six Chromebooks left to give away in January.

"Helping people use new technology and navigate the internet is a huge part of what we do," said Brenna Gilchrist, adult services librarian. "But, it isn't often that we are able to give away devices like this. It's such a wonderful opportunity."

Upcoming classes include:

  • Internet Basics at Stillwater Senior Center on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at 2 p.m.
  •  Cybersecurity Basics at the Stillwater Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m.
  •  Mobile Device Basics for Android at the Stillwater Public Library on Friday, Jan. 12, at 3 p.m.
  •  Computer Basics at the Perkins Public Library on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 10 a.m.
  •  Computer Basics (in Spanish) at the Stillwater High School on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 6 p.m.
  •  Cybersecurity Basics at OSU's Family Resource Center on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 5:30 p.m.

According to Gilchrist, right after the holidays is a busy time for technology help requests at the library.

"It's pretty common for people to get new devices for Christmas or on sale as a part of a holiday promotion," Gilchrist said. “These classes are a great place to start, and if more help is needed, people can always sign up for free one-on-one tutoring with a librarian.”

SPL is also taking advantage of its new mobile computer lab, a set of 15 laptops funded in fall 2023 by the Brown Foundation to hold many of the digital literacy classes offsite.  

"Being able to meet people where they are to help them expand their computer skills is kind of a dream come true for us," Gilchrist said. "Transportation can be challenging for some of our community members, and having a mobile lab helps alleviate that barrier."

In addition to a chance to win a Chromebook, participants will also receive a free USB drive preloaded with course materials. Complimentary snacks for morning and afternoon classes and light meals for evening classes will also be available.

Space is limited due to the number of laptops the library has available, so registration is required. Those interested can sign up online at stillwaterok.gov/LibraryDigitalLit or call the Help Desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106. There are also paper registration sheets at the offsite locations where workshops are scheduled. 

All of the workshops use curriculum from DigitalLearn.org that the PLA helped design. The course material is also available in Spanish, which has made it possible for the library to offer a bilingual option. Most of the courses will be taught by trained instructors from Meridian Technology Center.

To learn more about AT&T's efforts to help bridge the digital divide, visit att.com/connectedlearning.

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