This article was featured in a Delta Regional Monthly Publication
SEDAP Project Highlight
Mississippi: Technology training program expands digital literacy of teachers, students, and community members In response to the growing prevalence of technology in our society and the lack of digital literacy in the rural South, Digital Opportunity Trust USA (DOT USA) has developed the TeachUp! Program to increase technology usage in Mississippi and Louisiana classrooms. Through an extensive network of trained interns across the region, TeachUp! provides practical technology training and support to public schools and community centers such as WIN Job Centers in Mississippi in order to prepare teachers and community members for 21st century classrooms and workplaces.
With support from the Delta Regional Authority and a matching National AmeriCorps grant, DOT USA trained and sent out 106 TeachUp! Technology Interns to public schools and community centers in 13 Mississippi counties for the 2011-2012 school year. DOT USA estimates that these interns will train and improve the digital literacy and employability of 10,000 adults looking for jobs, 50,000 public school students, and 3,000 teachers throughout the state.
TeachUp! Technology Interns have had impressive success in recent years increasing the usage of technological resources in the classroom, thus creating a constructive learning environment for the twenty-first century. Two such interns connected the senior classes of their respective schools to each other by introducing students to Skype as a form of communication. The program is also important in providing internship and learning opportunities for the region's young adults. "It has been our goal since the beginning to not only empower students and teachers in at-risk communities to gain vital twenty-first century skills, but also to create internship opportunities for Mississippi and Louisiana natives and develop them professionally to succeed in a technology driven workforce," explains Deanna Stewart, Program Director for DOT USA.
Since the program's inception in 2006, TeachUp! Technology Interns have worked in more than 1,000 schools in Mississippi and Louisiana, increasing the skills and impacting the lives of more than 16,000 teachers and nearly 500,000 students, combating the major issue of digital illiteracy in the Mississippi Delta.