Computer skills educators working in free or cheap computer learning systems act out of a deep conviction that better access to information and ICT skills, just like improved reading and writing skills, can enhance poor peoples’ abilities to make strategic life choices and create the lifestyle they want for themselves.
One computer skills learning system initiative was made by UCLA Extension to reach Los Angeles residents, some of whom had never clicked a mouse or looked at a monitor. The Extension team set up a cyber café, with 16 computer stations and a small snack bar. The course fee was $95 and covered 36 hours of hands-on instruction over 12 weeks. Upon completion, students of the Extension learning system received a certificate of technical expertise and could choose electives in personal finance, advanced computer skills and resume writing. Job interviews and internships were also offered.
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