Digital Bytes Speaker Series Kicks Off


Photo of PanelistsAt the beginning of the month, Austin Free-Net launched the first in a series of upcoming panel discussions about Digital Inclusion topics. Three community leaders shared their insights about technology usage across generations and the conflict that sometimes occurs. The panel explored how to engage first generation immigrant parents who are non-users, how to connect Seniors and the relevant need of basic computer users.

A group gathered at Carver Branch Austin Public library to hear from: Professor Joseph D. Straubhaar, Author and Professor of Communications in the Department of Radio-TV-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, Laura Donnelly, Chief Operations Officer, Latinitas, and Juanita Budd, Executive Director, Austin Free-Net. The panel was moderated by John Speirs, Digital Inclusion Program Coordinator, Telecommunications & Regulatory Affairs City of Austin.

Here’s a snippet of the panelists thoughts about the major differences in digital technology usage.
“For a lot of older adults or middle age parents, particularly if they recently moved to the U.S., the relevancy to technology is not obvious. We need to provide a lot more contextual information about why digital literacy is important.”—Joseph Strauhbaar

“Bringing together the family to learn computer skills together is important. Having all the family members understand they are experts in contributing to learning technology is important.”—Laura Donnelly

“We partnered with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club to teach parents how to use AISD’s parent online portal, Parent Connect. These parents are much more engaged in their child’s education. We were able to show them importance of learning the technology.”–Juanita Budd

The panelists agreed that showing adults, parents and seniors the relevance of using computers will help move more people from non-users to users. If you would like to see a video of the event, visit our YouTube Channel. You can also submit topics for our next event to the AFN Communications Manager.

Look for our next Digital Bytes event in February 2016!