In exchange for expanding the MARTI project, adult education programs statewide will become the Community Connection for broadband technical assistance. Adult education staff will be trained to provide Maine citizens important information about the State’s rapidly expanding broadband capacity and how it can change lives. Presentation materials will be distributed to all Maine adult education programs to share with their students and other interested individuals. The statewide coverage of Maine’s adult education programs will provide citizens access to technical support on ways the can utilize high-speed internet capacity for education, economic development and personal enrichment.
The adult education broadband Community Connection will be promoted through the hundreds of thousands of adult education course catalogs distributed to Maine homes at least twice each year. The very popular website of the Maine Adult Education Association, http://www.maineadulted.org, will provide links to participating programs and the ConnectME Authority where the campaign is being coordinated with the state’s other broadband initiatives.
Broadband information will provide to interested individuals and organizations through public presentations like board meetings, gathering of civic and social organizations and at events such as program open houses. Instructors of related adult education courses will be provided
Education - Students of all ages must become highly skilled critical thinkers and life-long learners. A “digital divide” threatens to leave low-income students and those in rural areas behind. Broadband can allow access to high quality, online instruction towards a degree or diploma, career and educational opportunities anywhere and anytime!
Enrichment – The opportunities are endless! Communicate face-to-face with friends and relations. “Visit” far-off lands and experience the culture in “real-time!” Attend performances, create and share art, music and theater.
Economic and Community Development - Business owners need the right technological tools to leverage broadband, they need training to remain competitive in the global economy and they need to be connected with resources. Small and rural businesses can leverage broadband to find suppliers, train employees and market their products or services to compete by offering specialized goods and services locally and globally. Local economic development plans and federal programs must take broadband connectivity into account when assessing the economic prospects of a community.
Health and Wellness – Getting accurate information and health and medical conditions can be a challenge not matter where one lives. Physicians, clinics and Hospitals work to deliver quality care on a daily basis. Broadband connectivity can help connect patients with information to improve understanding and link to providers’ health care providers to improve service and reduce costs. People regardless of where they live can access many aspects of our nation’s world-class health care resources.
Government Services – Hundreds of local, regional, state and national government services are now available online. Our State’s own www.maine.gov web site has been recognized as one the best in the country, but unless the user is skilled at navigating the internet and comfortable with 21st century skills the challenge of finding what you want when you need it can be daunting. Adult education and the Community Connection can help!