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Michigan Legal Aid Technology Training Resources

MPLP Summer 2007 Special Newsletter Article

                Issue 34, Summer 2007

Michigan Legal Aid Technology Training Resources
by Steve Gray

Here's a quick rundown of the tech training resources available to Michigan legal aid types:

1. CRP Taskforce Meetings - we hold these 2-3 times a year, usually in Lansing. These are 10am - 3pm type of events with a portion that includes training on some tech topic(s) of interest to CRPs. Usually includes at least some part on Pika. This is also a chance to brainstorm with other techies tech issues in your program.

2. Tech Day at the MPLP Roadshow. Another 10-3 type of event but geared toward training. Usually held at a computer lab to facilitate hands on training and demonstration. Often we cover several different topics of relevance to those doing technology in legal aid programs. Some Pika related issue is almost always one of those topics.

In the past we have tried to cover a couple of topics of interest to advocates at the tech day but have had increasingly light attendance for those sessions. So this past year we decided to bring the tech to the advocates and did a short tech tips session during each of the substantive days at the Roadshow.

3. MPLP On Demand Tech Training - occasionally the Legal Services Computer Committee (LSCC), our tech advisory board in Michigan, asks MPLP to conduct tech trainings on topics of interest to programs. Recently MPLP conducted several trainings on setting-up and maintaining a wiki. MPLP is hosting wikis for legal aid programs in Michigan who are using them in a number of different ways. In that line we also did a training for those contributing content to the Reentry Law Wiki which we are also hosting.

Also in the not too distant past we did an Introductory Pika training for ATJ staff who just implemented the Pika CMS.

4. National Tech Seminars - The Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project (LSNTAP) offers a series of short (1.5 hours) webinars on a variety of tech topics of interest to legal aid programs. These are free webinars that you can participate in from the comfort of your office. They have over 25 webinars scheduled throughout the year that cover topics of interest to techies, managers and advocates. You can find the 2007 LSNTAP webinar schedule here: http://lsntap.org/event.

Also if you can't make the training they often record the webinars and make the recording available after the training along with resource materials on the LSNTAP website: http://lsntap.org/upcomingtrainings

5. Virtual Training Center - The Michigan State Bar Foundation has purchased a 5-concurrent user VTC account. VTC is a commercial online tech training provider that offers you unlimited access to over 55,794 video tutorials covering over 418 technology subject areas. This is available to all MSBF funded legal aid programs in Michigan. Check with your program tech manager or the MSBF for login information.

MPLP encourages all interested to take advantage of these varied tech training opportunities. If you have questions don't hesitate to contact MPLP Statewide Technology Coordinator.


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