Tech Talk brings 21st century technology to SICI Education

inmates watch presentation

“Getting Connected” was the title of a first-ever Tech Talk, sponsored by SICI Education.  Ms. Kim King, GED/ABE Instructor, presented a variety of up-to-date communication and smart home devices.

“We’re preparing our SICI students for the realities of life on the outside,” states Ms. King. “Digital literacy is a life skill and fits in with the Employability Skills Framework that we emphasize in Education.” 

Tech Talks were first envisioned by Dr. Mary Ellen Nourse, Computer Literacy Instructor at SICI.  “Getting Connected;” Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets;” and “Privacy and Security Considerations” were the three major topics addressed during the 90’ presentation.  

Amazon Echo “Alexa” proved a highlight of the afternoon.  Offender students as well as staff enjoyed posing questions to the smart home gadget. 

Among the questions asked were “what is the fastest-growing city in the United States,” “which city has the greatest population density,” “what is Keyes Economic Theory, and “tell us the score of the Seattle Mariners-Kansas City Royals game.”

Session participants discovered that Alexa is reluctant to answer questions about politicians.

In addition to “Alexa,” Ms. King had a bevy of devices to demonstrate.  These included an iPad with a writing pencil, laptop computer, notebook computer, Apple wristwatch, smart lightbulbs, and Roku. 

Colorful Power Point slides contained explanations of the different technologies and augmented Ms. King’s animated presentation. 

Ms. King brought technology “home” by demonstrating how she can control various features of her house simply by using her “smart” phone.  For example, Ms. King can turn lights on and off in different rooms of her home, while out here at SICI.  

Offender reaction to Tech Talk—Getting Connected” was very enthusiastic.  As student remarked, “You mean this isn’t 1950 anymore?”  “Whoa!!” was the one-word response from another attendee.  One older offender stated, “I didn’t know all this stuff was out there!”

As Dr. Nourse states, “We in SICI Education are hoping that Kim’s presentation this afternoon is the start of a series of ‘Tech Talks’ to bring more 21st century digital information to our students.”  

Story published: 04/24/2018
Print this pagePrint this page