Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre Bridging the Digital Divide

UWinnipeg Partners with EDS & Anokiiwin To Expand Computer Literacy

The University of Winnipeg is partnering with EDS, a leading technology services company and Anokiiwin Training Institute, an innovative Aboriginal training company to provide free computer training for Aboriginal and inner-city community members at UWinnipeg’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre.

Computer literacy is a basic requirement for many areas of employment and a necessary communication tool to succeed in today’s technological world—but many inner-city residents do not own a computer and have not had the opportunity to learn basic computer skills.

“In providing essential computer training to our inner-city neighbours, The University of Winnipeg—and its partners EDS and Anokiiwin Training Institute—will make a difference in the Aboriginal and Spence Neighbourhood communities and address the imbalance of computer literacy within society,” said University of Winnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy.

The basic computer training program will begin November 20, 2006 and run Mondays from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. throughout the year at the University’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre, 509-511 Ellice Ave. Free childcare and refreshments will be available during each session.

“The expanded literacy program is about using technology to turn students on by making learning more fun and providing new skills and opportunities to help people achieve success in the work place,” said Abe Borzykowski, EDS Manitoba business manager,  “EDS has a long and proud history of working with community organizations in Manitoba and we’re committed to supporting IT initiatives that enable people to participate fully in Manitoba’s increasingly technology-based economy.”

Ray Starr, Vice-President, Anokiiwin Training Institute, agreed. “Knowing how to use computers is fast becoming an essential skill for all citizens. The lack of access to computers and good training makes it difficult for many individuals to bridge the digital divide that allows them access to better job opportunities and a better quality of life,” he said.  “Anokiiwin Training Institute is pleased to have the opportunity to help those individuals through the free computer training program that is being offered at The University of Winnipeg’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre.  We are looking forward to working with our partners, EDS and The University of Winnipeg to help inner-city residents learn new skills in a welcoming, accessible, and affordable learning environment.”

Program participants, to a maximum of 18, will improve their computer skills in a highly interactive and supportive learning environment. The program is designed to provide learners with enhanced confidence in operating a computer and a working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and the internet. Training to prepare students to take the IC3 Certification exam in the Key Applications component will be available as part of the program. IC3 is an industry benchmark of computer literacy that covers a broad range of computing knowledge and skills.

“All of the partners are united in the belief that we must provide the educational resources necessary to level the playing field for all Winnipeggers and equip Aboriginal and inner-city community members with the computer literacy tools they need to meet the challenges in today’s working world and beyond,” noted Dr. Axworthy.

The University of Winnipeg’s Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre bridges the digital divide and provides Aboriginal and inner-city students and community members with access to computers, programming, and other resources at no charge.  Opened in November 2005, the Centre serves hundreds of community members every week, bringing the University and its neighbours together.

Located in the heart of downtown, The University of Winnipeg is a compact, diverse, multicultural academic community committed to access and excellence. Home to more than 9,200 full- and part-time students, UWinnipeg has been ranked by our graduates in the Top Ten of all Canadian universities when asked about their “Entire Educational Experience” (Maclean’s Graduate Survey, June 2006). The Globe & Mail 2005 Report Cardgives The University of Winnipeg an overall ‘A’ grade in the areas of teaching quality, class sizes, faculty-student interaction, and the availability of faculty outside classroom hours. Find out why. Visit www.uwinnipeg.ca

 

About EDS

EDS CANADA is a leading global technology services company delivering business solutions to its clients.  EDS founded the information technology outsourcing industry more than 40 years ago.  Today, EDS delivers a broad portfolio of information technology and business process outsourcing services to clients in the manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, communications, energy, transportation, and consumer and retail industries and to governments around the world.  Learn more at www.eds.com.

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For more information, please contact:
Ilana Simon, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
T: 204.786.9930   C: 204.782.3279 E: i.simon@uwinnipeg.ca

To register, please contact:
Christine Boyes, Coordinator, University of Winnipeg Wii Chiiwaakanak Learning Centre
509-511 Ellice Avenue, T: 204.789.1431   E: c.boyes@uwinnipeg.ca

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