Photo: #BuildCodeGo with Maribel Martinez

Community Members Launch Their Digital Transformation Journeys During #SuncoastRemakeDays

Posted on May 08, 2023 by Maribel Martinez, consultant with The Patterson Foundation

#SuncoastRemakeDays came back in a big way this year. In fact, it was the largest Remake Learning Days festival in the world, with over 200 free events across six learning themes: arts, maker, outdoor learning, science, technology, and youth voice. All themes are designed for parents and children to enjoy together, with one exception: professional development.

This year, in addition to bringing back #BuildCodeGo, Maribel Martinez Consulting added three virtual professional development workshops aimed at parents, teachers, working-age adults, workforce development professionals, and anyone interested in developing their cloud computing skills.

Technology is intimidating, especially for adults. Even those who use computers daily find themselves challenged by increased knowledge of software. Many try to find workarounds when faced with a particular obstacle or ask a colleague who can help. Others will try to Google the solution. The reason behind offering #AppliedDigitalSkills is that everyone has fragmented digital skills, regardless of their age. Not knowing how to do something on a computing device is nothing to be ashamed of, given the pace with which technology moves. Essentially, what we know about computing is related to our personal context. As educational and workplace needs have evolved, workers may need more support in getting up to speed on skills like cloud computing so that they can remain competitive in the job market and feel capable and efficient at their jobs.

As a certified Google Ambassador, we provided an overview of the Applied Digital Skills platform and lesson library content and demonstrated how to sign in and begin learning. Other consultants from The Patterson Foundation found their way to our workshop, pictured below:

TPFers attending the Applied Digital Skills remake learning days event with Maribel Martinez

Our attendees learned that their Gmail address unlocks a platform of more than 200 video-based lessons with content appropriate for learners ages 9 and up on all of Google’s most popular tools, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and more. Learners take charge of their learning path by choosing lesson cards with real-world projects that are relevant to them. Lesson progress is private, and all that is needed is an internet connection. “Time well spent,” said one participant, while another added, “This information will be useful in my work going forward.”

In addition to offering #AppliedDigitalSkills for the first time, we also brought back #BuildCodeGo. For the second year, five lucky families with students in grades 3–8 without their own computers were identified with help from The Patterson Foundation and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Parents, together with their child, were treated to a unique opportunity to build their own computer, understand how it works through free specific pre-loaded software exploration, learn basic code to create art, music, and more, and gain a better understanding of how to care for and troubleshoot their new device. Before taking their new computer home, parents were put in the driver’s seat using their Gmail account to, you guessed it, learn how to extend their new computer’s life by working in Google’s cloud! #BuildCodeGo families were also exposed to the Applied Digital Skills platform, taught how to identify productivity skills that were important to them, and started their first lesson.

“I never knew this was here!” said one parent. “I’m definitely going to check this out more when I get home.”


Suncoast Remake Learning Days event with Maribel MartinezLeft: #BuildCodeGo parent and child exploring and learning. Right: Maribel Martinez shares device maintenance tips for families at #BuildCodeGo

Closing the digital divide is about ensuring affordable access to broadband and appropriate computing devices just as much as increasing digital literacy skills. Through #AppliedDigitalSkills and #BuildCodeGo, and with the generous support from The Patterson Foundation, an anonymous Sarasota-based donor, and help from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, we were able to make digital inclusion a fun, transformative reality for our #SuncoastRemakeDays participants this year.

Leave a comment

You are commenting as guest.