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CTEP Members Streamline and Update CTEP's Online Resources

July 8, 2018

By Sarah Achartz, Jessa Wood and Jackie Best, CTEP AmeriCorps Members

AmeriCorps members serving with the Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) rely on a wide variety of digital tools and community resources. The CTEP program has aggregated a great deal of valuable resources since it was founded 14 years ago, but as we began our service year we soon discovered a need for better curation and upkeep of these resources, with key resources often out of date or hard to find. Last fall we established a civic engagement project to provide an overhaul of CTEP’s internal information structure, with the goal of providing streamlined access to up-to-date resources for the benefit of members and participants alike.

During the first phase of our project we reached out to the 35 CTEP members to understand what was needed. We began with a survey to identify what worked, what didn’t, and what was missing. Through this survey and other feedback, we learned that our current collection of resources could be improved to include more basic community needs. We learned that many CTEP members had trouble identifying additional digital literacy instruction sites to send clients to; that the available curriculum needed better organization; and that the available resources were spread out over too many different platforms and should be consolidated.

In the second phase of our project, we used this information to design and implement solutions. We identified the Saint Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) website as an ideal central location for resources. Because this site is public, our efforts can benefit the broader Twin Cities community in addition to CTEP. We updated and organized existing resource lists on the SPNN website and created new pages as needed.

To help members connect clients to programs, we created a Digital Literacy Resources map showing CTEP sites, community technology centers, and places that offer walk-in technology assistance. We took inventory of many years’ worth of submissions to CTEP’s curriculum depository on the Technology Literacy Collaborative website, and archived or deleted material that was poor in quality or outdated. We took inventory of the CTEP member site, CommonGround, and moved key resources to the SPNN website. As part of updating the SPNN website, we reviewed the position descriptions used in CTEP recruitment and provided suggestions to make them more informative and cohesive. We also reviewed the host site recruitment information and updated these pages to be more informative.

Our project is in its final stages, and the updated SPNN CTEP page is almost complete. Our final task is to develop a plan for keeping resources updated as time goes by. The progress achieved by this project has a lot of potential to be expanded upon, and a report detailing possible future work may serve as the draft of a grant proposal requesting funding.

We are confident that our revisions will help future CTEP members’ success in serving the Twin Cities community, and we look forward to sharing the result with our cohort!

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Civic Engagement Project Title: Streamlining CTEP's Online Resources
Project Members: Sarah Achartz, Jessa Wood, Jackie Best, and Rebecca Welty
Project Partners: CTEP AmeriCorps at the Saint Paul Neighborborhood Network

Each year our 35 CTEP AmeriCorps members choose community action projects that make a contribution to bridging the digital divide. The CTEP civic engagement projects are often cited by CTEP AmeriCorps members, staff, supervisors, and community supporters as one of the most unique and energizing parts of the program. This is one of the 2018 civic engagement projects.