78° F Saturday, June 24, 2017

Technology For All has reached out to Bastrop school district high schools in an effort to teach students how to create interactive, data-rich maps using a popular software application called Geographic Information Systems.

“For the past six months, we have been working with Smithville High School’s computer technology/digital media classes, creating Smithville-based interactive maps focused on the impact of wildfires on the local economy, local arts and restaurants in town, while also focusing on the history of Union Pacific Railroad,” said TFA training manager John Dees.

According to Dees, Esri is the leading provider of GIS software that has partnered with TFA to provide free GIS licenses to schools and school groups. Allowing teachers and students to use this innovative program to design and develop various map projects in the classroom.

Housed in Smithville, Technology For All oversees 14 counties across rural Texas and San Antonio to provide guidance, training and support to schools as they create maps as part of classroom projects.

TFA president Will Reed said, “We are excited to partner with the Bastrop ISD and hope to expand the collaboration.”

Created in 1997, in response to the nation’s growing technology gap, TFA is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit based in Houston.

In 2010, TFA partnered with Austin-based Austin Free-Net to create the Texas Connects Coalition (TXC2) to provide broadband technology and computer literacy training across 17 counties in Texas, including Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Brazos, Burleson, Caldwell, Comal, Duval, Fayette, Grimes, Harris, Leon, Madison, Robertson, Travis, Washington and Williamson, Dees said.

The impact has been a statewide footprint where Texans are provided free access to technology tools, education and training to better lives and make a difference, he added. A total of 92 public computer centers offer free digital and computer literacy classes and open lab sessions.

For more information on programs and training available, call 512-237-7025 or visit the TFA website at techforall.org.


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