Bringing technology training to those families that cannot afford home computers and/or internet access should be a goal for all communities.  The success-example that I am most familiar with is the program pioneered by the DeKalb County (Georgia) School System more than a decade ago.  The success of their Family Technology Resource Centers (FTRC’s) is unparalleled and has even gotten the attention of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Family Technology Resource Centers were designed to train, re-train, educate and re-educate family members through a commitment to video-based learning.  These FTRC’s:


a) Offered instruction, via state-of-the-art technology, in academic (basic skills, GED, reading and math), vocational, and technical areas

 b) Expanded the hours of school to evenings and weekends to accommodate the family educational needs

 c) Provided instruction for preschool through adult needs

 d) Offered free child care services by a licensed child care provider

 e) Utilized the existing hardware and courseware in the schools, as well as additional resources

 f) Prepared parents for productive employment in the world of work

 g) Increased student achievement by providing parents an opportunity to improve academic, vocational, and/or technical skills while encouraging parent-child learning and increasing time-on-task for all students

 Over forty years of research has shown that parental involvement in a child’s education does more to positively impact achievement than either parental income or education.  In their early years the DeKalb County School System witnessed the following results:

 77% increase in student school attendance

95% of the students increased their GPA

 80% increase in completion of homework assignments

 80% reduction in student fighting

 PTA attendance increased by 70%

 Parental volunteer services increased up to 100% in all FTRC locations

 More than two-thirds of the participating parents either gained employment or upgraded their existing positions

 I have long discussed the dramatic benefits that can be attained in business and industry through the use of technology training.  As you can see, our individual communities can also benefit in a variety of ways.  The “video learning culture” is firmly entrenched in our society.  The quicker we make use of video-based courseware — in both education and training — the more rapid will be our increase in learning.

More on Thursday – – –

— Bill Walton, Founder, ITC Learning
www.itclearning.com/blog/ (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
e-Mail: bwalton@itclearning.com