Written by Larche Hardy PAEC Wednesday, 11 April 2012 10:42
Providing broadband services, however, is only part of the equation. Teaching new users how to take full advantage of the internet is the next step. The Florida Learning Alliance and Workforce Florida, Inc. have taken the lead in an initiative to address broadband education issues. They have recently launched a multi-media campaign to teach new and novice users how to use the internet.
The campaign centers on the development of an aggregate website that assembles topics such as healthcare, education, job services, internet safety, as well as other important topics. The website, www.floridainternettour.com, simplifies and demystifies the process of learning by allowing the user to participate in a self-directed guided tour of the internet.
According to Mary Bedford, the Executive Director of the Florida Learning Alliance, “Many rural Floridians, including children, have not had an opportunity to take advantage of all the internet has to offer especially in terms of education. High speed internet can change that and this website will help make new users more comfortable as they learn.”
Educators point to several advantages of high speed internet availability besides the obvious research capabilities. Rural students can have easier access to dual enrollment, digital books and collaborative home studies, for example.
Internet safety is an important component of the website as new users may be unaware of the dangers of providing personal information. More importantly, the website guides parents on how to block inappropriate websites from being accessed.
A free training course will take place on April 30, 2012 at Riversprings Middle School at 800 Spring Creek Highway in Crawfordville. Seating is limited and participants will be enrolled on a first come, first served basis. Please contact Lynn Gothard or Larche Hardy toll free at 877-8737232 to register for the class.
The website was developed with input from regional advisory boards throughout Florida. It is available for use now at www.floridainternettour.com.
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