Blog // Connect Ohio
Columbus Metropolitan Library Trains More Than 1,000 Central Ohioans on Computer Skills
Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) is helping to spread digital literacy across central Ohio as a partner in Connect Ohio’s Every Citizen Online (ECO) program. The ECO program provides free computer and Internet training to help adults throughout the state learn these vital technology skills. CML currently holds the ECO training at nine of their 21 locations and more than 1,000 adults having already taken advantage of the beneficial resource.
Scott Woods, an ECO instructor at CML’s South High Branch, has trained more than 30 students on the basic fundamentals of using a computer and the Internet. The demand for basic training may come as a surprise to some people, but Woods has witnesseda great need for the program and he says the students take to it well.
Woods says that for many students the computer is a thing around them, which they have not dealt with much. Or, if they have used computers, it was years ago when technology was very different, so the training is exceedingly helpful for them. According to Wood, curiosity is a large factor driving students to register ECO.
“Many (participants) heard rumors of things that computers can do, that sound cool, and they want to know if it’s true, or if it can be done,” said Woods.
Students in attendance at one of Woods’ recent training sessions said they were there to learn computer skills in order to conduct job searches, refresh and improve skills they already had, and to help plan for retirement.
“The basic training is good, because you need the basics to be able to do anything,” said Woods. “I’m also able to incorporate what they want into the training a little bit too.”
Mark Brown, a recent ECO participant in Woods’ class, said he was there to learn how to use the computer for personal use, as well as for job skills. Brown was mostly interested in learning how to conduct searches online because he enjoys doing research and writing essays.
“I’m very good at finding research in books and magazines, but have had very little ability to use the computer to do it,” said Brown. “I would like to be able to use the Internet not as a replacement, but to enhance some of my research skills, and become less paper-oriented.”
Brown does engineering inspections for highway and commercial work, and although he has not had to use technology much at his job, he sees the importance of learning these skills as more businesses are going online.
“There’s a lot of data entry and some things youhave to look up,” said Brown. “The classes will be very useful for that. Classes are very convenient and free of costs, plus Woods has been a great instructor.”