For many reasons, access to the Internet is important to people here in Austin. It can help students complete their homework, allow families to find the right health clinic and connect seniors with their loved ones. Still, many people don’t have access to the web. Studies have shown that oftentimes people aren’t online because they don’t have the skills to use a computer or they don’t understand how the Internet can help in their daily lives.
For these reasons we’re thrilled to announce our part in the first-ever Digital Inclusion Fellowship in partnership with Google Fiber. Starting today, we’re calling for applications to become a fellow with our organization. Our fellow will work on enhancing digital literacy trainings, developing broadband adoption programs for metro Austin, and launching a train-the-trainer model to increase the number of digital literacy trainers. We’ll host a fellow for one year, who will be a full-time employee of Austin Free-Net receiving salaries and benefits funded by Google Fiber. We hope our fellow’s work will strengthen our organization’s digital literacy and broadband adoption efforts from the inside out.
Google Fiber is collaborating with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) to bring this fellowship to Austin and to seven other Google Fiber cities across the country. NTEN, who is facilitating the fellowship, will make sure our fellow is trained to become a digital inclusion expert and sharing what he/she is learning with 15 other fellows across the country.
Here in Austin we’re looking forward to partnering with Skillpoint Alliance who will also host a fellow over the next year. Together we aim to make Austin a national leader working to bring more people online.