ellohay! West Michigan

Online safety tips from Google and AARP

Posted in education, links for community, privacy and safety by forgr on October 8, 2008

I ran across this article this morning on the Official Google Blog on educating our 50+ citizens (AARP members) on online safety. Google and AARP created a series of clear and helpful informative videos that even I (27, internet savvy) enjoyed watching.

Up until now, a majority of 50+ people relied on other savvy individuals (neighbors, Best Buy’s Geek Squad, children, patient grand children etc.) to explain things to them. But the problem still remains that those explanations aren’t always captured (written down, recorded) efficiently, aren’t always as clear, or in depth as they often need to be. My mom (59) who’s pretty quick with computers and internet navigation, calls me every once to ask questions about uploading, downloading, formatting files, and the occasional email question too.

From the Official Google Blog article:

Now more than ever before, older Americans are logging on and surfing the web to stay in touch with family and friends, read websites and blogs, share photos, watch videos, and run online businesses. Like all Internet users, they’re sometimes faced with unsafe activity online, such as viruses and malware, and they’re looking for resources to learn how to keep their information on the web safe, private, and under their control.

A few of the videos that AARP and Google created together. Check out the video “Know what’s posted about you online” it’s clear, descriptive and an extremely good primer for those of us who are just starting out online.

Read more here.

A Conversation with Lynell Shooks

Posted in conversations, donations, hardware resources, meetings, partners, planning, players by forgr on March 9, 2008

So, last week I talked with Lynell Shooks from Comprenew Environmental in Grand Rapids, MI. Comprenew is the leading recycling and upcycling entity in the region. They’re mission is much different than ours, but still involves computers and assistance to the community.

“Last year, Comprenew Environmental kept approximately 1.5 million pounds of electronics out of landfills.”

“The mission of Comprenew Environmental is to inspire the local community to live and work in a sustainable manner. This mission is accomplished through the mentoring of community partners and inner-city youth who, along with committed staff and volunteers, provide corporations and the community with electronics recycling services that represent the best possible practice.”

I left a message but didn’t get a call back for about two weeks, I called back this week to see if I could catch her at a different time of day. Got her on the phone…

I took cruddy notes while talking with her:

General Information:
Offer discounted electronics at the store
Laptops for $380-400
Offer support
Two week warranty, No long term warranty provided
Geared towards regular users, but work with lower income
Build computers
Non-profits get discounts
(Gave Degagé Ministries monitors for $10 each)
(Sold to Schools for labs all over the county)
Machine comes with software and an OS, keep the OS with the machine
They make recommendations to their clients for upgrading their OS

Comprenew Academy:
Teaching sustainability practices
Offers agencies and non-profit sustainability education as well
Hope Network, retaining, and financial, taking apart computers, factory work
AARP, job retraining factory
Internships and volunteers at the center constantly

Computers 101?
Community, not really involved yet

Repair services, cheaper than Best Buy
Support offered at the facility

I asked if Comprenew would be interested in contributing to the conversation, Lynell was interested in contributing AND partnering in some way. She mentioned that we could call her anytime and that this sort of initiative is much needed in the community. I gave her my email, phone number, and the blog url too.

Check out the Comprenew website here.

recycle@comprenew.org
616.451.4400
629 Ionia Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503
U.S.A.