BTOP

Technology Training Skills

Successful technology training has less to do with technical knowledge than with other abilities such as communication skills, patience, interpersonal skills, flexibility, and empathy towards learners struggling with new technologies. It is more useful to know how to train than to just have technical expertise. Keeping it simple and relevant is often the most important thing you can do.

BTOP Projects at Work: Reaching Remote Areas

Broadband provision in remote communities can often be logistically challenging and expensive. Targeted grants are one way to address the access barriers faced by rural communities. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) provides grants to support the establishment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas.

Want to learn from other BTOP grantees?

I'd like to invite you to join us in an experiment.

As part of a grant-funded broadband project, we’ve been chatting with nonprofits and libraries that received BTOP funding. Our number one learning: nearly everyone we've spoken with has expressed a need to connect and share ideas with other grantees. Many said that their greatest "Aha" moments came when they were able to bounce ideas and experiences off of organizations and public libraries working on similar projects.

BTOP Projects at Work: Forging Partnerships with ISPs

Remote and low-income communities often have limited choices when it comes to Broadband, and the few options they do have are often cost prohibitive. In these communities, a bit of innovative thinking can make all the difference. Two non-profit organizations are using the funds from the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) grant to partner with ISPs and provide communities in New Mexico and Ohio with Broadband access.

TechSoup's The Accidental Technology Trainer Series

Welcome to our new blog series, The Accidental Technology Trainer. Many libraries and nonprofits are telling us that technology training is a major community need, and sometimes there are struggles in providing this service. Often trainers find themselves in this role accidentally. I did! But I soon discovered that I really enjoy helping others learn about technology.  

Connecting BTOP Peers to Collaborate, Learn, and Train

As part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Project (BTOP), which is a federal stimulus program for thousands of organizations and public libraries around the country to help expand and improve broadband access, we’ve been interviewing grantees to glean their best practices, challenges, opportunities, and hopes for the projects they’re working on.

How broadband connects islands

I know people who live on islands. It's a dreamy, idyllic life for a city-slicker outsider like myself. But as most grass-is-always-greener stories go, there's a deeper, more complicated subtext to the reality of island living.

Tourists, Travelers, and Snowbirds: Empowering Community Leaders to Navigate Broadband

BTOP grants represent a huge opportunity for public libraries and other institutions to redouble the broadband access that they can offer their communities. But of course, with that access means more need for educating and supporting broadband users. For many of the public libraries and community centers I've talked to, how to match that increased access with appropriate staffing remains an open question.