October 2023

Volume 1 | Issue 9 | October 3, 2023

Digital Inclusion Week is October 2 - 6

National Digital Inclusion Week is an annual observance showcasing the countrywide efforts of organizations and individuals working to advance digital literacy, equity, and inclusion. You can promote digital equity in your area and support your community by sharing UME Marylanders Online's events, resources, graphics below.

Social Media 

Maryland Digital Equity Coalition Kickoff Event

Thursday, October 5th | 10:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The Maryland Digital Equity Coalition (MDEC) brings together individuals and organizations dedicated to bridging the digital divide in Maryland. The MDEC kickoff event is your chance to connect with like-minded individuals, learn about the coalition's goals, and explore opportunities for collaboration. Don't miss out on the virtual MDEC kickoff event!

Register Here

Digital Equity Summit and Awards Ceremony

Thursday, November 9th | 8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

The Graduate Hotel, Annapolis, MD

The University of Maryland Digital Literacy Project is hosting the statewide Digital Equity Summit on November 9th. Following the summit, Digital Equity Champions from across Maryland will be recognized and honored during a special ceremony. Registration for the summit is forthcoming, but the nomination period is open!

Digital Equity Champion Nomination Form

Talk Text Train Sessions with MAT

Tuesdays and Thursdays | October - November

Join Marylanders Online and Maryland Accessible Telecommunications (MAT) for the interactive Talk, Text, Train virtual training series, designed to bring people together and foster meaningful conversations and skill building around accessible technology.

Register Here

The Abell Foundation's Maryland Digital Equity Scorecard Index Map illuminates the disparities in access to tech and internet across Maryland. See the map.

The Office of Statewide Broadband is working to identify community anchor institutions to advance Maryland's digital equity. Take the survey.

What's New with Marylanders Online?

On September 14th, Marylanders Online provided an Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) training to a virtual, statewide audience of over 250 participants. The session was joined by Governer Wes Moore, who emphasized that the deployment of affordable broadband across the state is among Maryland’s top priorities. Read more.

On September 27th, MAT offered an in-person Talk Text Train day at the National Federation of Blind in Baltimore City. University of Maryland Extension's Digital Navigator Program Manager Vishnupriya Desai presented on the ACP to an audience of approximately 40 trainers who support the visually or hearing impaired community in Maryland. Attendees left with free accessibility devices to help community members with vision impairment utilize technology!

UME Digital Literacy Curriculum Updates

Over the course of the summer, the curriculum team conducted approximately 150 interviews across the state of Maryland with the goal of learning more about the types of digital literacy skills that Marylanders have and value, as well as how they would be interested in learning new digital literacy skills. Interviews were conducted in Baltimore City, the eastern shore, western Maryland, Prince George’s county, and Montgomery county. The team has begun submitting to journals and developing conference presentations using this data set, and will continue to use this data to inform curriculum curation and development moving forward. Learn more about the curriculum.

September Call Volume

The Marylanders Online helpline received 660 calls in the month of September, resulting in an average of 589 calls per month for quarter three!

Join Our Team!

We're looking for more great people to to join our team! Bilingual and statewide positions are available.

Email for more information.

Tech Extension Educator / Navigator Carroll / Frederick Counties

Learn More & Apply Here

Tech Extension Educator / Navigator Cecil / Kent / Queen Anne's / Caroline Counties

Learn More & Apply Here

Please help us welcome our two newest members!

Keri Elizabeth Grant - Tech Educator for the Lower Shore Cluster

(Talbot, Dorchester, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset)

Naimani Staley- Tech Educator for the Northern Maryland Cluster

(Carroll, Baltimore county, Howard)

Tech Educator Shelita Jackson, Western Cluster, speaks with consumers.

Tech Educator Aziz Hurtado, Capital Cluster, helping to set up a Chromebook.

Tech Educator Blaise Brennan, Baltimore City, connecting with the community at a device giveaway event.

Get to Know the Team

Maria Barga

UME Tech Educator

Maria Barga is a Tech Educator in the Southern Maryland Cluster. Although Maria is new to her role, she is no stranger to UME. Throughout her youth, Maria was an active member of 4-H where she learned everything from how to raise sheep to different painting techniques. Before her role as a Tech Educator, Maria served Calvert County Extension as an Admin I, where she built and maintained the county website and supported various programs by developing marketing materials. 

Maria started with Tech Extension in February of this year, and since has worked with 16 different organizations, reaching a total of 8,804 peopl.. She has partnered with 4-H in Calvert County, Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maryland, and The Arc to teach youth programs like Pixel Art in Google sheets and Storytelling with PowerPoint. Maria has also partnered with local government, libraries, and senior centers to teach people how to set up their new HP Chromebooks and sign them up for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which offers free or reduced home internet through the FCC. 

Maria would also like to thank her teammates Shelita, Blaise, Vishnupriya, Aziz and the Digital Navigation Team for their help at device distributions!

Tech Tales from Southern Maryland

Boys & Girls Club of St. Mary's and Tech Extension teamed up to teach tech classes at the North Beach location this summer. On the last day of camp, a 13 year old camp volunteer Charlie helped Maria teach a lesson where students learn how to animate gifs and create games in Scratch. The students were aged 5 to 14 and truly enjoyed learning from one of their peers. Charlie did an amazing job and plans to continue teaching youth how to code using Scratch throughout the remainder of the year!

Tech Extension partnered Calvert County's 4-H Camp in Kings Landing State Park to teach the youth how to build formulas in spreadsheets through the creation of pixelated art. The pupils created a color palette and entered the colors in accordance with the numbers each color was assigned, soon moving on to using formulas in Google Sheets. Several campers even chose to continue creating pixel art in Google Sheets over going to the swimming pool on the last day of camp!

Upcoming Events

UME Marylanders Online will be available at these local events to assist with the ACP program, device set-up, tech help, and more. View the full calendar.

Baltimore County

Chromebook Distribution Events

In partnership with Baltimore City Information & Technology and the Maryland Office of Statewide Broadband, the Enoch Pratt Library will be distributing 30,000 HP Chromebooks to eligible Baltimore City households. The Housing Authority of Baltimore County will be offering ACP support. UME Marylanders Online will be also supporting this initiative with appointment assistance. Read more.

Event details: Click here

Date: Thursday, October 5, 2023

Time: 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Location: Cockeysville Branch Library

Date: Friday, October 13, 2023

Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location: Essex Branch Library

Date: Friday, October 13, 2023

Time: 5:00 am to 8:00 pm

Location: Sollers Point Branch Library 

Date: Monday, October 30, 2023

Time: 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Location: Loch Raven Branch Library

Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Time: 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location: Parkville-Carney Branch Library

Cecil County

ACP Event

Event details: Click here

Date: Wednesday, October 11th

Time: 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Location: Elkton Branch Library

301 Newark Avenue Elkton

Kent County

Chromebook Distribution Events

Event details: Click here

Date: Monday, October 30, 2023

Time: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location: Chestertown Upper Shore Aging Inc.

100 Schauber Rd, Chestertown MD 21620, US

St. Mary's County

Chromebook Distribution Events

Event details: Click here

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023

Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Leonardtown Governmental Center Potomac Building 1st Floor, Room 14 | 8:00 AM

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2023

Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Location: Leonardtown Governmental Center Potomac Building 1st Floor, Room 14 | 8:00 AM

For more distribution events, please visit St. Mary's County's website.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually in the United States from September 15 through October 15. The month is marked by a celebration of history, culture and contributions of generations of Hispanic and Latinx people that have shaped and influenced society. Learn more.

Stay in Touch

Questions? Comments? Want to partner with us?

Email us at marylandersonline@umd.edu.

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