From left-to-right Bouchar Maataoui, Pamala Primeau and Alberto Ocando working with the new laptops. (Shawna O'Neill, TC Media).
CORNWALL, Ontario – On May 15, the Tri-County Literacy Council (TCLC) installed 19 new laptops to their computer lab after receiving funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This is the Council’s first official technology upgrade in 32 years.
“Before this we had 16 (computers),” said Danielle Bray, the TCLC Business Development Coordinator. “We received donations at different times. We were fortunate to receive them, but they were all different computers and that was a challenge. They were all running on 2007 platforms.”
According to Bray, the new laptops are now operating with Windows 10 and using Microsoft 2016 programs.
Dina McGowan, the Executive Director at TCLC, advised the MAESD of the Council's situations with technology, requested funding and provided specific quotes of how much funding was needed.
“They agreed that our equipment was sort of archaic” said McGowan. “Within a couple of months we received notification of the grant and that it had been successful.”
The laptops were installed into the computer lab by Computer Sense.
“Prior to this, we were running into some costly repairs,” said McGowan. “I mean it was almost constantly that we had someone here working on the computers. We’re even getting a new server so that will safeguard all of our data.”
Now the TCLC is working on a grant with the New Horizons for Seniors Program. They’re planning to create and pilot a curriculum where seniors learn to use tablets.
“It’s the way of the future and it’s a way to undo that isolation that many seniors may feel,” said McGowan.
The TCLC invites individuals to maintain and upgrade their computer skills through basic or advanced computer courses. The first free session with the new laptops starts on May 28. The session will run for five weeks from 9:00 a.m. to noon, Monday to Thursday. Call 613-932-7161 for more information.