vcrd-logoThe Vermont Digital Economy Project is a program of the Vermont Council on Rural Development. It’s using federal disaster-relief funds to help build resiliency and spur economic growth and development in towns ravaged by Tropical Storm Irene.

One of the ways it fulfills this mission is by reaching across the digital divide, and helping Vermonters who aren’t digitally literate become so. To that end, the Digital Economy Project is hosting a panel discussion at the 2013 Vermont Tech Jam to explain how the rest of us tech-savvy folk can help our less-connected friends, neighbors and relatives connect to the online world. From the Tech Jam schedule:

Friday, October 19, 3 p.m.

Building Digital Inclusion (242 Main Stage)
Every techie person knows somebody — a parent, a grandparent, an uncle, a friend — who is not digitally literate. In fact, around 30 percent of Americans currently have no broadband internet access at home. In this workshop, tech teachers from the Vermont Digital Economy Project present stories from the other side of the digital divide. They explain how to approach students and friends in need of digital help with empathy, patience and understanding — and why helping to bridge that divide is important for all of us. Panelists include: Domenic Laurenzi, Internet Intern in the Northeast Kingdom; Jennie Martin, Lead Teacher/Community Coordinator, Randolph Learning Center; Mary Kay Dreher, Coordinator of Academic Services, Community College of Vermont, Montpelier; moderator Caitlin Lovegrove, Network and Outreach Coordinator, Vermont Digital Economy Project.