Introducing IT Outreach Coordinator, Derek Richard

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Hackforge is proud to introduce our new IT Outreach Coordinator, Derek Richard. He’s currently wrapping up his final semester in Computer Systems Technology: Networking at St. Clair College. Derek will be helping local non-profit organizations with their tech needs and help match new IT workers to these projects. This is part of the IT Outreach Program funded by The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

How did you first get into tech?

As a kid, my father use to let me assist him around the house with odd jobs. One day, we sat down with an old Windows 95 PC. This computer, for the time, was a pretty big deal to me since it was also the first real computer in our house. He told me if I could fix it up, I could play on it for as much as I liked. This act alone brought upon my joy for tinkering and creation with tech.

What non-profits have you been involved with in Windsor?
I have been involved with Hackforge prior to being taken on. We did a small job refurbishing computers for the Teen Center in Ford City.
Though the first non-profit I worked with was Computers for Kids, I sat in and assisted with refurbishing some of the computers.

What is your favorite thing about Windsor?
The community, people here are always willing to help each-other and branch out. Many organizations don’t mind working with each-other and assisting one another in a time of need and that’s something I think that is unique in Windsor.

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Stay tuned for more from Derek and the IT Outreach Program. You can reach him at Derek@hackf.org.

 

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Register Now for Round Two of Computer Girls

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Through the support of Ontario Trillium Foundation, Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc. (WEST) in partnership with Hackforge presents the second round of Computer Girls classes. Computer Girls offers computer training to women and young women in the Windsor & Essex County area at no cost. Classes are held at WEST’s offices downtown Windsor (647 Ouellette Avenue Suite 201).

These classes can be taken independently or all together. There are no prerequisites to take these classes. The Computer Literacy classes are for women who are very new to computers and would like to learn more. Introduction to Coding courses are for women with computer experience who are looking to learn about the structure and foundations of the web through coding.

 

Computer Literacy: Getting Started with Computers:
This course is designed for women with very basic computer knowledge. Participants will gain
practical computer knowledge in Microsoft Office, the internet, computer security, etc.

Classes offered:

Parts and Pieces: Computer Basics (Wednesday, April 29: 6-8PM)
Come take a look at the physical parts of a computer. Understand the mechanics of how a computer physically works with this hands-on class.

Bits and Bytes: Understanding the Internet (May 13: 6-8PM)
Learn about the history of the internet, how it works, and how you can the most out of your time on the web.

Letters and Presentations: Get More From Everyday Programs (May 27: 6-8)
Practical tips and tricks to get more out of Word, Spreadsheet, and Presentation programs that will make work easier and faster.

Bugs and Viruses: Keeping Your Computer Safe (June 10: 6-8PM)
Find out how to keep you and your computer safe from digital threats. Learn about how these viruses and bugs work and how you can fix problems yourself.

Tweets and Tablets: Understanding the Digital Lifestyle (June 24: 6-8PM)
Let Computer Girls be your guide to the digital lifestyle world. Explore the phenomenon of social media and popular sites. You’ll be able to interact with various devices from iphones to tablets.

REGISTER FOR CLASSES HERE

Intro to Coding:
This course is designed to provide individuals with practical skills employers are looking for. If you want to
pursue a career in computer science, or if you enjoy working with computers….this program is for you!
Participants will learn about various kinds of coding that make the web possible.

Introduction to HTML:  (May 6 : 6-8PM)

Introduction to CSS (May 20 : 6-8PM)

Introduction to JavaScript (June 3: 6-8PM)

Intermediate HTML/CSS (June 17: 6-8PM)

REGISTER HERE FOR CODING CLASSES

 

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Maptime: Telling Stories with Web Mapping

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Monthly Maptimes are back in effect!  Maptime Windsor-Essex will be meeting on Thursday, 7pm, April 23rd, Fred Israel Room, in the basement of the Windsor Public Library Central Branch (850 Ouellette Ave). 

Maptime is simply time set aside to learn how to make maps together.  While you are welcome to bring your laptop if you would like to work on something or would like help with something your working on, for this month’s meeting, we’re setting time for the absolute beginner and there will be a presentation on Web mapping by Mita Williams.
Web Mapping: moving from maps on the web to maps of the web
The transition from paper maps to digital maps was a profound one. It was such a sea change that the current shift from Digital Mapping to Web Mapping may have escaped  notice even through it brings a fundamental shift of its own. This presentation will introduce you to the new tools of web mapping. These tools allow for new forms of journalism, citizen activism, and scholarship. Web mapping allows more people to tell more stories with maps. This presentation will help you tell yours.”

Science of Electronics Creating Sound: April 11th Workshop + Showcase

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Saturday, April 11th, Hackforge presents Analog Synthesis: a workshop on the science of electronics creating sound. From 2-5PM at the Fred Israel Auditorium, located in the basement of the Central Branch of the Windsor Public Library (850 Ouellette Ave), Hackforgers Aaron Mavrinac, Nik Steel, and Paul Anderson will guide you to the world of synthesizers.

Join us for a discussion of how electronics are used to manipulate the components of sound to create things the ear has never heard before. Come out and play with modular and monophonic music synthesizers and learn how it all comes together in the music you love.

This event is great for beginners to synthesizers.
Suitable for ages 10 & up.

Mentors Wanted! WindsorDetroit Hacking Health

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May 1-3rd 2015, the first cross-border Hacking Health in the world takes place. This competition breaks down barriers to healthcare innovation by bringing together IT and healthcare professionals across the US-Canada border to collaborate, dream up & design apps for patient-centric care.

Windsor-Detroit Hacking Health will be held at Tech Town Detroit – an innovation hub just five minutes from the border. Hackforge is proud to be part of the Hacking Health Team.

Currently, Hacking Health is looking for mentors. If you’re a professional developer with the heart of a coach, register now. If you’re also interested in participating, you can register below as well.

Register here.

 

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Computer Girls Instructors Wanted!

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In collaboration with Women’s Enterprise Skills Training of Windsor Inc., and with support from Ontario Trillium Foundation, we’re looking for a few female instructors to help teach the Computer Girls Digital Literacy courses. These classes are designed to give women who are new to computers a basic understanding of their functions.

 Job requirements:
- Must be comfortable (intermediate to advanced level) with computer functionality
- Intermediate – advanced level of Microsoft Office
- Teaching experience OR comfortable speaking to small crowds of up to 15.
- Must be available every other Wednesday nights from 5:30 – 8:00 PM

Curriculum, lesson plans and PowerPoints are provided. No coding/programming knowledge required. This is a PAID contract position.

For more information or to submit a resume, email Program Facilitator, Aisling Douglas at info@aislingdouglas.com.

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Budget, Bus, Beach, and Vote: Press Play Wraps Up

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Sunday, February 22nd wrapped up the weeklong Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon at the downtown Green Bean Cafe. Four teams, made up of St. Clair College and University of Windsor students, created four different interactive visualizations about Windsor data.

In honour of Open Data Day, we challenged teams to take on open Windsor Data. Our overall winning team, Cornelius and Clara, visualized the distance to bus stops around Windsor and the barriers it creates. Lauren and Akindele, winning Best Piece of Journalism, went around town to challenge Windsorites to understand the budget and imagined a more interactive, clear version. Best Use of Windsor Data went to Zule and Steven, who broke down election statistics from the last municipal election by number and area. And finally, Most Creative Project went to Amanda and hackathon veteran, Meghan for their exploration of accessibly to local tourist attractions by bus or bike.

Best Overall Team:
Cornelius Froese & Clara Benedek
“Transportation in Windsor”

Best Piece of Journalism:
Lauren Hedges & Akindele Faulkner
“Visualizing Windsor’s Annual Budget”

Best Use of Windsor Data:
Steven Espinoza & Zule Li
“Election Web: Windsor Municipal Election 2014″

Most Creative Project:
Meghan O’Donnell & Amanda Sinasac
“Can We Bus it to the Beach?”

Thanks to our judges: Blake Roberts, Don McArthur, Aisling Douglas, and Bob Price.

Press Play was created with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

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Check below for more from today’s event:

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Hackforge is Hiring: IT Outreach Coordinator

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IT Outreach Coordinator
Job Type: Part-time (8 hours per week)

Hackforge’s IT Outreach program works with Windsor-Essex nonprofits to solve their technical issues. The IT Outreach Coordinator would assess these projects, create work orders, and then help a beginner IT worker to complete the project and follow up.

Some examples of specific projects for local organizations: refurbishing computer labs, RFID swipe­card door-­entry systems, website development, social media literacy.

Job description:

  • Search out nonprofits in need of a technological problem that needs solving
  • Assess the potential projects and create work orders
  • Help find workers to complete projects and survey their work
  • Assess the final outcome and create a report
  • Promote the IT Outreach projects through social media

Qualifications:

  • A background (academic or professional) in computer analysis or electronics
  • Experience working independently and taking initiative
  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written
  • Customer service experience would be an asset

Please send a cover letter and résumé to info@hackf.org with the subject line “IT Outreach Coordinator” by midnight, February 27th.

 

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Press Play Hackathon Reveal Sunday

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This Sunday, February 22nd, join us for the final reveal of Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon. The event takes place at the downtown Green Bean Cafe (300 Ouellette Ave) from 1-3PM. Student teams are working this week to create interactive visualization about open data from Windsor. This event is free and open to the public.

This event is in celebration of Open Data Day and encourages Windsor students to take a look at the local data available to them. Teams, made up of one coder and one journalist, are taking the data and creating news stories within interactive visualizations. This is Hackforge’s first hackathon with a journalism element.

Teams will be competing to win Best Use of Windsor Data, Most Creative Project, Best Piece of Journalism, and Best Overall Team. Our judges determining the winners will be:

Bob Price – Technical Support Analyst at the City of Windsor
Aisling Douglas – UI/UX Designer & Computer Girls Program Facilitator and Instructor
Donald McArthur – Assistant Managing Editor, Digital at The Windsor Star
Blake Roberts – Program Chair of Digital Journalism at the University of Windsor

Press Play was created by University student Lauren Hedges and Hackforge, with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

 

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Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon Kickoff & Roundtable

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Sunday, February 15th kicked off Press Play: Data-Journalism Hackathon at the Windsor Public Library. Four student teams were assembled to take on a week-long challenge of creating interactive visualizations based on Windsor data.

The day also included a panel discussion with community experts on the topic of open data and technology in journalism. Our panelists will also be the judges for the hackathon. The round table included:

Bob Price – Technical Support Analyst at the City of Windsor
Aisling Douglas – UI/UX Designer & Computer Girls Program Facilitator and Instructor
Donald McArthur – Assistant Managing Editor, Digital at The Windsor Star
Blake Roberts – Program Chair of Digital Journalism at the University of Windsor
Dylan Kristy – Web Wrangler for the Windsor Star

Moderator: Douglas Sartori: Board President of Windsor Hackforge

We’ll keep you posted for more Press Play news as we continue towards the big reveal day on Sunday, February 22nd.

Press Play was created by University student Lauren Hedges and Hackforge, with support from EPICentre, Open Data Windsor Essex, Ontario Trillium Foundation, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and WEtech Alliance.

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Check below for more from today’s hackathon!

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