Supporting equity through technology

Caregivers who took part in the Family Computer Literacy Program pose for a photo along with staff, high school volunteers, and their children.

Ten caregivers recently completed our Family Computer Literacy Program organized by our Family Engagement department. This course provides families with tools to ensure they are able to be active participants in their child’s education and communicate in the channels our school uses.

Classes were held after school on Mondays and Tuesdays in March. Attendees of the course learned how to set up and use email, adjust settings, access the programs Capital City uses to communicate with caregivers, among many other subjects. Attendees gave a presentation on the final day of the course, and received a certificate and a Chromebook to keep. The hope is that providing a laptop and technological knowledge to the community helps close the digital divide that prevents some from using technology.

The course was organized by the Family Engagement team, and staff from various departments at Capital City — along with high school student volunteers — helped make this a success in working towards providing equity in technology for our families. 

Read on to hear from a few participants about their experience. 


Lenor, Parent Participant

Why did you decide to take this computer literacy class?

I first decided to take this computer class because I didn't know how to use a computer and I never had one. I never had the opportunity to learn in my country because my family had very low economic resources and we couldn’t afford something like that.

What are your biggest takeaways from the class?

The things I have learned in this class are to send emails, how to communicate with some teachers, to be able to enter the Capital City page and to be able to search for all the programs it offers.

Why do you think it's important to offer classes like this at Capital City?

I think these opportunities they give us as parents are very important so that we can help our children and be more attentive to student progress. I would also like them to give English classes at some point, it would be very important.

Miguel, Parent Participant

Why did you decide to take this computer literacy class?

To learn how to communicate through emails and other things.


What are your biggest takeaways from the class?

I think the most important thing is that I am no longer afraid to communicate through email. I know how to get more involved with my children's teachers and that I can also send an excuse for absences by email, among other things.

Why do you think it's important to offer classes like this at Capital City?

I think it is very important to try to involve the parents of each student to have better communication with the teachers since many parents do not know about the tools they have for communication.

What other classes would you like Capital City to offer in the future?

I think it would be great if agriculture classes were created. That would be a hobby where parents can spend time with their children practicing it. I think that in the case of Hispanics, English classes would also help us to have better communication.

Mr. McCullough

Mr. McCullough, MS Instructional Technology Coordinator

Why did you want to be involved in offering the family computer literacy classes?

I wanted to be involved in these classes because there is a phenomenon known as the “digital divide.” The digital divide is essentially where certain groups of people (often vulnerable members of society such as immigrants, elderly, etc) do not have access to technology.

This might not seem like a big deal but it is because it prevents those people from being able to access the same opportunities as everyone else — so it is an equity issue. I wanted to be part of helping to fight against that inequity. 

What do you hope those in attendance take away from the class?  

My hope is that those in attendance gain the basic skills to begin to access the same opportunities as everyone else. Also they get a free brand new laptop if they finish the course, which makes me really happy as many of these families need one. 

Why do you think it's important for Capital City to provide resources like this to families?

I think it is important for Capital City to provide resources like these because we stand by the value of equity as a school. It is not enough to simply talk about equity — you have to take action and live your words. 

Is there anything you have learned during your experience providing support at the classes? 

This experience was humbling for me because it was a good reminder of the privilege I was born into as a white American male. I feel it is the responsibility of those with resources like mine to help others. And I am grateful for the opportunity to be a positive force in our community.

Omar, 12th Grade Student Volunteer

Why did you decide to get involved in helping the computer class? 

I didn’t know this class existed but once I found out, I thought that since I know a lot about technology, it would be a good opportunity to share the knowledge I have.


Is there anything you took away from this class? 

I took away a good feeling of being able to help parents learn new things. 

Why is it important that we offer classes like this? 

It’s important because some parents don’t have the resources, and I think it’s good to give back to the community.