Back to BASICs: Computer help group has new name, same drive to help build skills
HOUGHTON?- It’s an hour before the Portage Lake District Library opens, but if you enter through the side door, you’ll see a group of Tech students and community members already hard at work. They bow over smartphones, tablets and laptops, deep in conversation. They’re here to teach, and to learn.
This is BASIC (Building Adult Skills in Computing), formerly known as Online at the Library. The group meets on Saturday mornings while Tech is in session.
Though its name has changed, the group’s mission has remained the same – to help answer questions for, and teach computing skills to, community members.
Charles Wallace, associate professor and undergraduate program advisor in Michigan Tech’s computer science department, said one of the biggest changes since the program’s inception is the widening of platforms. While participants once brought in “almost exclusively” laptops, now they’re working on smartphones and tablets as well.
“Those provide some interesting challenges,” he said.