California Connects Community Trainer

Links and Important Info

Congratulations on being a part of this exciting MESA project! As a MESA member in good standing, you have been given a laptop computer and access to Microsoft certification in exchange for

  1. Your participation in community service of at least 12 hours total designed to expand access to broadband technology and increase digital literacy in underserved communities.
  2. Improving your own expertise with one of the most commonly used software products: Microsoft's Word, PowerPoint or Excel by studying for and taking an exam to earn a Certificate of Proficiency.

DEADLINES for completion of these is June 30th for all students!

Part 0: Go to and set up an account for yourself.

There is technical support, an FAQ section, as well as other useful things like some pre-service training online in English and Spanish, and the Microsoft certification codes and information. You will see all the other 35 community colleges involved in this project, too.

Part 1: Community Service

Living With Technology Website:

This website was developed just for our California Connects program. Get to know this resource and it can be your A-Z tool to use for your community service. It is designed to be widely used and shared, so feel free to share this link with anybody who may be interested. Use the Login feature for yourself, and also have your community members use it so that it is possible for the developers to track how much use this is getting.

Digital Literacy Refresher & Training Techniques is a short summary of things to consider as you prepare to work with the public who may have no digital literacy.

Certificate for Your Trainees
Here is a certificate you can download, print out and give to the people you have worked with as part of your community service. We also have some copies made in the office if you want to come and get them from us.


If you are interested, there are e-learning modules provided by Microsoft, that will give you a nice refresher on those technology basics that most of us take for granted, but that for a new computer user can be confusing. Use these if you want additional Training Modules to get you to feel ready to do your community service. For most of you, the Living with Technology Website described above will be enough.

First, create a Windows Live Account, using the Explorer browser only. Then follow this link to Microsoft's Digital Literacy Website. Choose the courses that you think best fits your needs as a trainer, and the tools you think will be most important to those you are training. Recommended for our purpose are Computer Basics, The Internet and the World Wide Web, Productivity Programs, Computer Security and Privacy, Digital Lifestyles and Advanced Curriculum: Creating an Email and/or Finding and Evalutating Resources on the Web.

Reporting Your Community Service Hours

.........Online Reporting:

Go to this link and complete the information for that person and your own info about where and when you did the training and what topics you covered.

.........Forms to keep track of your hours and your trainees

Community Training Reporting Sheet shows the kind of information you need to keep track of for the community service you have completed. You do not have to hand this in--report the information online.

"Getting to Know You" Reporting Sheet shows the kind of information you will need to report online about each of the trainees you work with. work with. A Spanish translation of this reporting sheet has also been made available: "Getting to Know You" en Espanol. You do not have to hand these in, but they may be useful for you in collecting what you will need to report online.


Part 2: Microsoft Certificates for Word, Excel, PowerPoint: Microsoft's IT Academy

The second requirement for you to complete is to improve your own personal skill level and obtain an official certification in one of these three most commonly used Office software programs. Apparently, these certifications are not easy to obtain. Even if you use these programs daily, you will need to study the materials to be in a position to pass the tests!

The Certificates are valuable to include in your resume and for job-hunting. Here is what you need to do:

1. Choose which software program you would like to obtain a certificate for. (You are welcome to try for a second subject, once you get certified in one of these!)

2. Go to the IT Academy website using the following link Microsoft IT Academy E-Learning for Cabrillo Students and go through the materials and exercises provided for that program until you feel confident that you have mastered everything. Note that the materials are all for Microsoft 2010 to coincide with the software provided on your laptops.

3. We have been provided free, unlimited, practice exams for MESA students – you can download the practice exam software directly to your laptop computers! NOTE these do not seem to work with the Explorer Browser, but if you use Mozilla, Firefox, Chrome instead, you can get access to these practice exams! Instructions and passcodes for Practice Exams.

4. When you have studied enough so that you are passing the practice exams, set up a time to take the exam with Sue Tappero or Sue Marvin. Email addresses: or



Other Links:

The California Connects Website gives information about this grant initiative and is a place to share among other MESA community college programs good ideas for community service and also offers some translation of forms into Spanish.

Obama's National Wireless Initiative is the President's plan to help close the "digital divide" by making high-speed wireless services available to at least 98% of Americans. The other part of the plan involves bringing digital literacy skills to those who have little or no experience with the amazing resources available online through computer access.