The publication Computer Labs for Literacy Groups is full of practical information that is sure to be of
interest to any literacy program considering setting up a computer lab. This guide comes from The P4 Literacy
Project initiative to provide literacy students in Parksville/Qualicum, BC with access to computers, the Internet
and Literacy BC’s Literacy Network. One of the components of the project was the establishment of a
computer lab in The Write Place literacy program in Parksville.
The first part of the guide contains a step by step case study of the creation of The Write Place lab. It
begins with the initial setting of objectives followed by the choosing of software and hardware. The guide
clearly shows how selecting computer hardware can be simplified by using software specifications as a guide.
People without a lot of computer experience can also refer to the Appendix for a description of basic computer
components. (Keep in mind though that the guide was produced in December of 1998, so some of the numbers
may be slightly behind the times.) Because Internet access was a major feature of the lab, this is also addressed.
The guide even discusses choosing furniture and space for the lab, including security considerations.
The second part of the guide briefly discusses how the lab was used and what approach was taken to
teaching basic computer software including the FirstClass Client software used by the BC Literacy Network.
Although the guide is brief, it is very practical in nature and written in language that makes it accessible to
even those without much computer experience. The complete guide can be viewed on the NALD website,
http://nald.ca, under Full Text Documents. A copy can also be ordered at:
Project Literacy Parksville/
P.O. Box 27
Parksville, BC, V9P 2G3
Phone: (205) 248-4041
Fax: (250) 248-4042
The guide was written by Ken Peters, PhD., Project Literacy Parksville/Qualicum for the Province of
British Columbia, Ministry of Education, Skills and Training and the National Literacy Secretariat.