- BTOP to the Rescue: Closing Monterey County's Digital Divide
Megan Heath, Monterey COE
Claudia MelÚndez, Community Information Center
This presentation reports on efforts by the Central Coast Broadband Consortium Public Computing Alliance to increase computer and digital media literacy among the underserved Latino communities in Monterey County's rural Salinas Valley. Topics include the successful application for the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding, how the Alliance plans to use the funding, how the Alliance proposes to use Broadband Access to enhance educational and vocational skills for underserved communities, and teaching basic computer skills to Spanish speaking adults. This presentation summarizes the current state of Monterey County's digital divide and the vision of the Central Coast Broadband Consortium Public Computing Alliance to develop a 21st century workforce. One alliance partner will also describe her work on the ground using technology to involve digitally illiterate Spanish-speaking parents in the education of their children. She will discuss class preparation, cultural and language barriers, and other challenges such as transportation. This presentation will help explain the current state of the digital divide among Monterey County's Latino farm-worker communities and how a local Alliance aims to remedy it.