A senior programmer at Upstate spends some of his free time helping to close the digital divide. That’s the division between those with computer and Internet access and skill sets, and those without.
Joe Huber volunteers at the Rescue Mission in Syracuse, where he teaches computer skills to clients and serves on the mission’s Information Technology steering committee.
His Digital Bridge Class is offered to Rescue Mission clients who are seeking employment or general computer skills. They learn Microsoft Windows and Office, including Word, and they learn how to search the Internet and use email. In addition, they learn about identity security and precautions they should take in cyberspace. At the successful completion of the course, students are awarded personal computers that have been donated by local supporters of the mission.
“It’s been a real eye opener. It’s been one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done,” Huber said. The class had to be adapted. Some of the students needed beginner-type training. which focused on the keyboard, punctuation and literacy, before they could move on to computer skills.
This article appears in the summer 2015 issue of Upstate Health magazine.