Iga Fikayo Keme newest Get Engaged board member

CTAB (Community Technology Advisory Board) welcomes Iga Fikayo Keme as its newest member filling the Get Engaged position.

Iga is enthusiastic about serving on the Community Technology Advisory Board (CTAB). She understands that due to the constantly changing technology landscape, technology legislation is bringing significant changes to how our society operates. She is eager to use her business development skills and expanding knowledge in technology law to be of service to the City of Seattle. Iga is an attorney specializing in contracts and business transactions, but is shifting her focus to a career in technology and innovation. In growing her knowledge of this field, she has had the opportunity to assist with Seattle’s Annual Technology Law Conference, as well as Seattle’s Annual Cybersecurity Conference.

Iga grew up in a diverse community in Southern California where civic engagement was highly encouraged. She currently volunteers with a community organization that assist low-income residents with housing issues, and is a mentor to at-risk youth living in South Seattle. She previously worked and volunteered for a variety of organizations including GoodWill GoodGuides, America Reads America Counts, and the National Education Association. Iga received her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara (2008), and her Juris Doctor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014).

Hundreds of youth bridge the digital divide

NS_computer classThis fall, hundreds of kids from North Seattle are returning to school empowered with new computer knowledge.

In the 2014 round of Tech Matching Grants (TMF), North Seattle Boys & Girls Club (NSBGC) was awarded $20,000 to create 23 computer work stations, now providing free computer access and education to hundreds of youth. Volunteers and staff monitor the labs, offer technology classes and partner with community organizations to offer additional programs.

Since the computers’ arrival last fall, the equipment has been in almost continual use. During the school year, homework takes priority for computer use as more than 100 youth come to the Club each afternoon. Various age groups cycle through the computer labs for designated homework time, with staff and volunteers available to help complete assignments. Each evening, technology education classes engage kids in activities like writing newsletters and designing projects.

Having the computer labs on-site also allows several special projects. Teens used the computers to research electric airplanes, create a blog about their community service projects, and learn about resume building. Younger kids used the computers to experiment with robotics, create newsletters and design graphic projects.

This summer, the North Seattle Club was selected to pilot a new Google CS First (Computer Science) curriculum. Led by AmeriCorps VISTA staff, youth as young as 4th grade experimented with writing code. This fall, North Seattle will continue the program with Club staff and volunteers teaching the class.

“Our computer labs are a springboard for so many programs and opportunities,” says Joan Caldon, Club Executive Director for NSBGC and STEM committee member for Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. “Strong technology skills open doors for our Club kids, and will likely provide a way out of poverty for many.”

 

Seattle chosen as part of “What Works”

The City of Seattle is a leader in utilizing Open Data.  Websites like data.seattle.gov and performance.seattle.gov have demonstrated the City’s commitment and effective use of open data resources.

Now, Bloomberg Charities just chose Seattle as one of the first eight cities to participate in the “What Works Cities” program.

In the next three years, Bloomberg Charities will give 100 cities part of a $42 million initiative aimed at helping cities develop data-driven projects that improve their communities.

Seattle will focus on integrating data and evidence into their contracts to achieve better results.

What Works Cities collaborates with participating municipalities to review their current use of data and evidence, understand where they are utilizing best practices and identify areas for growth. Through its expert partners, What Works Cities then designs a customized approach to help mayors address a variety of local issues including economic development and job creation, public health, and social services.

To learn more and apply to be a What Works City, visit www.WhatWorksCities.org

 

Back to school on a budget

interconnection

In today’s world, not having technology readily available is a major disadvantage, especially for children who will lag behind because of it. According to the Council of Economic Advisers, roughly 55 percent of low-income children under 10 in the U.S. do not have access to the Internet at home. Lack of Internet at home is a major contributor to the widening homework gap between low-income children and the rest of the population.

InterConnection, a Seattle-based nonprofit, is trying to change that by providing students and low income families with access to affordable technology. Their mission is to bridge the digital divide and close the homework gap, connecting underserved communities and nonprofits around the Puget Sound to the computers and technology they need. They accomplish this mission thanks in part to their Retail Store in Fremont and their online stores aimed to help those on a low-income.

InterConnection is a Microsoft Registered Refurbisher. This means that all the computers and laptops sold at the InterConnection Retail Store in Fremont come with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office pre-installed and undergo an extensive quality control process. Right now, just in time for school, students and low-income families can purchase a laptop for as low as $99 and a desktop package with monitor, mouse and keyboard for only $79. This is a great help to those on a limited income, who need high quality technology but cannot afford the newest product on the market.

Equal access to technology at home, in school and other places is a must for anyone wanting to excel in the 21st century. Together as a community we must focus on closing the opportunity gap in the greater Seattle area by working to provide students and their families with the affordable technology they so desperately need.

For more information about InterConnection and how to access affordable technology visit www.interconnection.org

 

Text message to the world?

Video applications are great tools to stay in touch with friends and family around the world.  Did you know that with a smart phone you can stay in touch?  You can send text messages to friends and family as if they are right next to you through smart phone messaging applications. Most of the major computer applications have a smartphone version allowing you to chat with friends and family.  These services are normally free to send or receive messages as long as you have Internet access.  If you do not like texting, most of the popular applications support text, phone and video calling.  It’s recommended you use a WIFI connection if you’re going to use the phone or video service.

Popular ones are

Internet safety for seniors

The Internet creates excellent opportunities for seniors to meet people, conduct business, plan travel, access records, stay in touch with friends and family, and support hobbies and entertainment interests.  You can learn how to take advantage of the opportunities without falling prey to predators so you can have peace of mind when you go online.

The Washington State Office of the Attorney General’s Office has put together an online resource aimed at the unique vulnerabilities seniors face when going online.  There are specific scams tailored specifically to exploit older Internet users.

Having less refined computer and Internet skills and being more trusting are major factors that make seniors more vulnerable.  This site addresses: seniors and social networking sites; cyberbullying and seniors; online dating and seniors; information exposure and seniors; and tips for seniors to stay safer online.  Learn more here.

Comcast Customer Alert

No more payments/equipment will be accepted at Central Neighborhood Service Center.

Beginning September 2015, the City’s Central Neighborhood Service Center, 2301 S Jackson St, will no longer accept Comcast cable payments or equipment drops.

Comcast has ended its contract with the City’s Neighborhood Service Center and opened a new downtown cable service center that will now accept payments and equipment. Here are the new service center details:

Comcast (Xfinity) Store (Downtown)
900 Lenora St, Suite 116 (on the corner of Westlake and 9th Avenue)
Seattle, WA 98121

Store Hours
Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Sunday 12:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

(map)

Comcast customers who used the Central Neighborhood Service Center can now visit the new downtown cable store, which opened in August 2015. For more information on the new site, see Comcast Opens Xfinity Store in Seattle’s South Lake Union Neighborhood.

Comcast also has a North Seattle service center that can accept payments and equipment.

Comcast Service Center (North Seattle)
12645 Stone Ave N
Seattle, WA 98133

Store Hours

Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.

Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.

(map)

If you have questions about the Central Neighborhood Service Center change or need help resolving an issue with your cable company, contact Seattle’s Office of Cable Communications at (206) 684-8498 or through our online Cable Issue Service Request Form.