(UNDATED) – More than 24 million people living in the U.S., including 19 million living in rural communities, do not have access to broadband internet, an essential service in today’s economy (FCC 2018 report). Limited access to broadband internet combined with the growing need for digital skills is impacting access to economic opportunities for youth across the nation.
That’s why National 4‑H Council and Microsoft are working together through the 4‑H Tech Changemakers program to empower 4‑H teens in 91 communities across 15 states to lead digital skills training teach the value of digital tools and find technological solutions to real-world problems.
We call these tech-savvy and community-oriented young people 4‑H Tech Changemakers.
Running a 4‑H Tech Changemakers Program
4‑H and Microsoft are making it easy for communities to create a 4‑H Tech Changemakers program with the 4‑H Tech Changemakers Guidebook. The guidebook offers best practices and guidelines for youth/adult partnerships to plan, implement and evaluate a Tech Changemakers program in local communities.
The guidebook will help those seeking to implement the program learn:
- What to consider before starting a Tech Changemakers program, including recommendations on research and learning experiences to help prepare your group for project planning.
- Best practices on topics like project management, program promotion and mentoring.
- Lesson plans to fit your community’s needs, covering skills like communication, information literacy, netiquette, privacy, social media and more.
- How to create an action plan framework to help you get the Tech Changemakers program started.
The Value of Being a 4‑H Tech Changemaker
- Why digital skills and access to broadband are critical in the modern economy.
- How you can encourage people to improve their digital skills.
- A research-backed solution that is as unique as your community through localized digital skills training sessions.
- School, government, media and local business leaders to your project’s work.
- With people in your community by facilitating in-person events.