Introduction to Data Analysis will be Hope IT’s course in February 2021. We will be using a tool called Google Data Studios. This will be an on-line course.
We find data so vital these days. We all have been looking at the COVID curve, and the positive cases rise. One of the core topics in IT is how understanding data and trends affects our lives, and how useful data is. Beyond COVID data, we will review other datasets as well.
Students signing up for this course with their pastor or group leader will need to be at least 13 years old, as we will be using Google Accounts to access Google Sheets and Google Data Studio. If you like a course flier, please contact us.
Hope you are well in this challenging time, with COVID, in-person schooling on hold, glaring wounds of racial injustice in our nation, and after a Presidential election like no other. This is challenging for adults. How are young folks managing these times? How can we show our youth God and his message of hope, peace, justice and mercy?
As you know, Hope IT is a Christian based effort that focuses on underserved students in Pasadena; these young folks are facing increasing number of challenges. Hope IT partners with organizations and faith communities which serve these students.
Hope IT strives to continue to offer IT/computer courses (at no cost) in this safe distancing environment. However, we have not been able to give frequent updates on what we are doing. We will continue to improve on that. We do want to tell you stories of our students, our team, and our courses in the next few months.
Gratefully, small breakthroughs have been slowly occurring in the last 9 months. Here is a summary.
We continued to offer courses in June and October, on Saturday mornings. We have had 3 students in each course.
Our courses had to be on-line, so we focused on topics that work in that format. One topic is creating websites, using WordPress. It is a good teaching environment, as we can quickly see the progress of students; we just need to see their web sites!
The Hope IT team has imagination, privilege and know-how to create an environment to allow each student to have their own website domain, to create their own websites. This is beyond what WordPress offers for free (in WordPress.org). In these Hope IT environments, students can both create/modify web pages, and use plugins. Plugins are additional features that really demonstrate the power and flexibility of WordPress. In our courses, our students used plugins to easily use page builders, track statistics on visitors to their web sites, and even use SEO, Search Engine Optimization. Our Hope IT web domains allow students to continue to explore and create beyond our course times, and we give them an extra month to do so.
This month was a first for us: having a student take 3 courses with us. This means this student is getting a breath of topics of what IT is about. He has taken a course in creating games on his Android phone, creating code in Python programming language to have a virtual robot get out of a maze, and create websites with WordPress. He is 13! What happens if he keeps going, keeps learning?
A new student this month has experienced challenging times. In God’s grace, she is surrounded by those who care for her. In partnership with others, after this WordPress course, she will get a paid position to modify a website using WordPress. She is 16! For us at Hope IT, it is very fulfilling to see a student learn skills and build confidence, and be able to directly use this new ability to get paid.
We actually had 2 courses going on at the same time. We started a new course with Stars. We have had 3 students, in a 6 week course on Wednesday nights, again learning WordPress. To see what they can do so quickly is satisfying. Stars does such a great job in nurturing and mentoring underserved kids in Pasadena. The Hope IT team looks forward to holding this kind of enrichment course with Stars again.
Our next course in February we plan to teach Data Analysis. It may not sound interesting to kids, but they will benefit. What can data show us? How is it relevant? Well, let’s see what happens to a nation if the trend of COVID infections rise! We all watch the COVID positive test curves. There are many other interesting data trends that drive our realities, like election delegates, census data in the US, education vs wage earnings, the stock market, etc. We cannot touch on all of these, but the Hope IT team thinks if we can introduce these ideas, and have kids create their own charts with raw data, they will gain a key skill for their future.
You may not know, but in each of our courses, we end with a Scripture reflection. In our Python course to solve mazes, we focused on the 3 parables of being lost in Luke 15. In our WordPress course, we focus on examples of the Word of God, being a form of remote learning, and showing the power of the Word: both in creation, God’s call to us, and the prophetic voice. Our aim is just to read the Word itself, as we know that will have its own growth in us all, students and Hope IT team members alike. We do add short comments on what these Scripture readings mean to us. We aim for kids to realize, they are not alone, and God was with them in their past, with them right now, and intends a good future for them.The Hope IT team members are volunteers and have our own challenges as well. We are professionally asked to work longer hours, and much of the time we don’t have energy for much more than work and family. Each of us has experienced big changes in our work environment in the last 2 months. Like so many others, we have to deal with layoffs, or the threat of them. True, we realize we can work remotely, are generally paid well, and are mostly stable in these challenging times.
Please pray for us: our students and the Hope IT team. In small ways, we see glimpses of God moving and working. We need to keep going, trusting in God’s good and loving ways.
Hope IT was glad to partner with Stars, offering a 6-week course in WordPress, a web site building tool. Stars for more than 20 years has been caring for underserved kids in Pasadena, offering tutoring, mentoring, and many other efforts. Hope IT adapted our on-line WordPress course to fit Star’s scheduling, offering their high schoolers enrichment opportunities on-line on Wednesday nights, for 6 weeks. There were 3 students in this session. This enrichment course started in mid-September, and finished in at the end of October. Hope IT looks forward to partnering with Stars again.
Hope IT will offer a WordPress course in October. Our team is a little low on energy, and I know everyone is finding ways to make it through this time. We think it is critical to continue to have a course, and allow students to have opportunities to learn and expand their skills.
Even though we covered WordPress in June, we think this is still a great course, so we are offering it again. WordPress allows you to make web sites quickly, easily. It is used by 30% of web sites, and knowing how it works can allow one to find those skills very useful.
WordPress also uses No Code Development, which means, you don’t need to know programming to use WordPress. I think it may surprise students to see how this is all done; the basics are not that hard, and the secret is anyone can create web sites. That’s why we want to cover this again.
We are grateful to have a WordPress course in June. It has started with 2 students, and we look to add 2 more in Week 2. This course is on-line, using GoToMeeting. It’s a little more difficult, but learning how to create web sites using WordPress allows us to learn and instruct remotely. We are covering Themes, Plugins, and creating web pages and blogs using Elementor, reviewing statistics of those visiting our web sites, search optimizations, and security.
We are also reflecting on the Word of God, and can realize it uses a remote learning style: learn about God while He does not seem near. But as we read Scripture, we begin to realize: The Word of God speaks to what is happening all around us, with COVID, protests, justice, creative power, as well as God’s calling and promises.
Sadly, Hope It had to cancel the CyberSecurity course due to COVID19. We will try offer this course next school year.
We will plan to have a course in June, most likely covering WordPress, creating web sites. We will post our plans in late April, and will explore if we can teach this remotely/on-line, if that is needed. More to come. Be safe!
Hope IT has offered 2 courses this school year: 1) Creating games on Android phones, and 2) Solving mazes using Python.
We are pleased to offer an Intro to CyberSecurity, partnering with students from Cal Poly Pomona. This is on the Intermediate level. Begin to be learn key topics on how companies and governments work to protect their systems, and data.
We had a successful class last Saturday, the first of the year and first of its series. This series’ focus is on Psalm 23 and building a camera module with the RasberryPi. Thank God for rain and students participating in spite of the rain. Everything went smoothly and we had a lot of fun. Looking forward to our next class this Saturday.