Making More of the Machine: Joe Mendoza 2nd blog
July 20, 2020

My internship is with Kansas State Research and Extension, with a project goal to reach our low resource communities to build computer skills. I focused on Hispanic communities, who have a second disadvantage in language. I had intended to start with remote teaching, however many of the individuals were not comfortable with this format. The work was slow in the beginning.

After July 4th, I was able to ramp up classes quickly home visits. My participants were very receptive to having a person work with them. While I was able to provide a computer for these classes, I noticed almost all of my participants were wanting help in picking which laptop to buy. Similar to picking out a car for someone who has the means, the sheer number of choices was overwhelming to many. I came across a unique challenge in a higher price for good budget Windows and ChromeOS laptops. I’ve since noticed that all media and entertainment machines have risen in price from demand.

Explaining the importance of the value in the brands, prices, and components has been interesting in Spanish. Breaking down the realistic functions of computer components has been helpful for my language skills, which has been my communication goal.

In this project, my intention is to teach at least one individual enough to be able to teach one other person as a leadership goal. Since I will be leaving for the fall, I would only reach those who are comfortable with the remote calls, should I continue with this. Remote would prove difficult to reach many who need it most. Along these lines, my professional goal is to reach out to local groups with a framework for these classes in the future. This project has a unique challenge for initial planning, especially with varying gaps in computer skills. With a little more time and effort, this type of work can reach those who need it, led by our local community programs.