First step is the hardest in digital literacy

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“Turning the darn thing on,” said Fred Eckhardt of Boyd when asked what was the most difficult part for him. Eckhardt was seated Wednesday at the station next to Lein during the Computer Commuter’s visit to Boyd. He was surfing the Internet in search of old postcards from towns in Minnesota and South Dakota.

The West Central Tribune profiled Lac qui Parle’s Computer Commuter over the weekend. The Computer Commuter is a remodeled bus with computers and Internet access. The bus makes its way on a route through various cities in LqP County each week.

As the West Central Tribune points out…

More than 38 percent of the residents in the five counties in the Upper Minnesota River basin, Lac qui Parle County among them, do not own a home computer, according to information released by the Blandin Foundation’s Intelligent Rural Communities project last year.

The goal of the Computer Commuter is to reach the folks who don’t have a home computer. To help them learn how to use a computer, to get comfortable and perhaps to plant the seeds of interest in getting a computer. LqP County is working on FTTH – so soon access won’t be an issue. With any luck the Computer Commuter broadband adoption and the FTTH deployment will leave LqP in a good position for local resident and businesses.