Collaborative internet tools

Because collaborative tools encourage teamwork, they make an appropriate medium for various educational tasks, you only need to be connected to the Internet.

Collaborative tools (when well oriented) can help students reinforce knowledge in different areas and improve the teaching-learning process.
Its importance and usefulness lie in the fact that they allow diverse learning opportunities, allowing both the student and the teacher to count on a number of applications online, for the joint work and to collaborate in the development of group tasks assigned in class.

On the other hand, Collaborative tools can strengthen aspects such as reasoning, self-learning and collaborative learning. In this sense, development environments for student learning will be more effective, allowing students to provide an environment that facilitates the tasks related to the educational process.

Social networks are websites that allow people to connect with their friends and even make new friendships, virtually, and share content, interact, create communities about similar interests: work, readings, games, friendship, love relationships, relationships commercials, etc. The origin of social networks dates back to at least 1995, when the American Randy Conrads created the website. With this social network, it was intended that people could recover or maintain contact with former classmates from school, institute, university.

A blog, (also known as a weblog or blog), is a website that chronologically collects texts or articles by one or several authors, with the most recent appearing first. Usually, in each article, readers can write their comments and the author can respond, so that it is possible to establish a dialogue. The use or theme of each blog is particular, there are personal, journalistic, business or corporate, technological, educational, etc.

Wiki is a concept that is used in the Internet field to refer to web pages whose contents can be edited by multiple users through any browser. These pages, therefore, are developed from the collaboration of Internet users, who can add, modify or delete information.

The chat can be considered as a common space to chat on the Internet. It is a widely used means of communication, which is available on the network. Today, chat rooms are very famous. There are chat rooms, which refer to specific spaces, in terms of geography, such as those offered by some universities. Other chat rooms can lead to conversations between citizens of the same country. Likewise, a more open chat can be integrated by people from different countries.

Number and Staff

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 29,500 people – located in heart of Silicon Valley
  • Ethnicity: 59% Latino, 23% African-American, 7% White, 10% Pacific Islander.
  • Median Age: 25.8 years (11 years younger than the median age in San Mateo County) 35% of population is under the age of 18.
  • Income: $13,774 per capita (38.2% of the per capita income of San Mateo County.)
  • High School Graduation Rates: 36% of students graduate on time.

    Despite its geographic proximity to the epicenter of the technological revolution, East Palo Alto residents are struggling to get by in Silicon Valley. The technological boom has created economic forces that challenge even middle income residents, and leaves low income residents living in overcrowded conditions, homeless, or struggling with severe housing cost burdens. Housing prices in the San Francisco Bay Area are the highest in the nation and there is serious competition for the limited supply. As a result, in just the last two years, rents have increased by 29% to an average of $1450 for a two bedroom apartment. To be affordable, rent at this level requires a job paying at least $25 per hour. Since our community members are under-qualified for most high-tech jobs, they struggle every day to earn the kind of money needed to make ends meet.

At the core, it is this economic, skill, and opportunity deficit that has created the “Digital Divide” in East Palo Alto. Other factors include the lack of a local high school, isolation from the social networks in which technology information is distributed and shared, and lack of people in the community that can act as technology educators. That is why Plugged In was created – to train community members to use technology to increase their professional, educational, and social opportunities.

Patrick has been a community member here in East Palo Alto for several years. As a dedicated and motivated individual Patrick has helped several people become business owners throughout the city. As an active community member and long time resident Patrick explains, “I love to help individuals who want to work hard and make dreams come true.”

Magda A. Escobar is responsible for all the operations and management of Plugged In. Magda graduated from Stanford University in 1992. She started her career as a Team Leader at City Year Boston where she worked in early childhood education. She was a consultant to the Commission on National and Community Service researching effective models for delivering technical assistance and training to national service programs around the country. She continued her non-profit work as the National Program Director at Public Allies in Washington DC – an organization dedicated to cultivating a new generation of civic, community, and non-profit leaders. While there, she helped expand the program from two to six cities across the United States.

Magda is on the Board of Directors of Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the Non-Profit Advisory Board of Network for Good, a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a member of the Steering Committee for the California Community Technology Policy Group and has served on the Board of Directors of the Social Enterprise Alliance and Our Schools Our Media. Magda is a 2001 Center for Social Innovation Fellow at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and was named one of Ms. magazine’s Women of the Year in 2001

Michael has 10 years experience with media for community development in East Palo Alto. From 1993 to 1996 he researched, produced and directed “Dreams of a City: Creating East Palo Alto,” a 55-minute documentary on the history of the city. This award-winning film is the most widely used introduction to the history of East Palo Alto and has appeared in festivals, shown on PBS and been utilized by university courses nation-wide. Michael has also produced three other films about East Palo Alto, worked in nonprofit development and been a content producer for university and private sector web and software efforts. He holds a B.A. in Communication from the University of California at UC Santa Cruz and an M.A. in Communication with a focus on Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Languages: English.

Nadine has 14 years experience in the technology industry and ten years of experience doing community technology-related volunteer work. Her experience spans a host of positions and companies ranging from her start as a computer operator at Abbott Critical Care Systems to software engineering at IDX Systems Corporations where she worked just before joining Plugged In. Nadine was the volunteer director of the Maranatha Computer Advancement Center in San Jose since its inception in 1993 where she acquired funds from the City of San Jose, Silicon Valley Bank, and Maranatha Christian Center to purchase 16 computers, created a mechanism to transport 40 – 60 youth per week from an affordable housing development to utilize the center’s homework and computer programs, and provided in-home service for senior citizens troubleshooting and repairing computers.

Rolando was previously was part of the Schools Online development team and program team, where he managed projects in Latin America and the United States. As Regional Program Director, he coordinated the installation of thirty-eight Internet Learning Centers in schools in Argentina, Ecuador, El Salvador, Costa Rica, India, Spain, Paraguay, and Peru. In 1992, Rolando graduated with distinction from Stanford University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently, he received both a M.S. in Manufacturing Systems Engineering in 1994 and a M.S. in Engineering Management from Stanford University. Languages: English and Spanish.

Plugged In – Took Kit

Over the years, Plugged In has received a lot of attention nationwide for our efforts to ensure that people in East Palo Alto have the opportunity to fully benefit from all that the information revolution has to offer. Although we are a local initiative, many people have approached us for technical assistance in starting computing programs in their communities. Here are some resources that may be useful to you if you’re trying to build a community technology access program.

A great collection of resources has been developed by the Community Technology Centers Network (CTCNet), a national network of more than 200 community technology centers. CTCNet provides a broad range of support materials to its members, including a comprehensive Center Start-Up Manual. The manual provides a systematic approach to starting a community computer center. Plugged In is proud to be a CTCNet member.

Across the country, there are more than 400 community technology centers based in affordable housing developments, as part of Neighborhood Networks, an initiative by the Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD). Neighborhood Networks has developed a set of resources that are available on the Neighborhood Networks web site.

Although we have very little capacity to respond to the requests we receive for technical assistance and training from people around the country, we are able to provide tours of our center one day a week. We are also happy to offer internship opportunities. If you are interested in a tour of our facilities, please send e-mail to

YPP trains teenagers in the latest Web design and video production. The teenagers then use their skills to operate a production house that creates Web sites and video products for community members and paying commercial clients. Clients include Pacific Bell, Sun Microsystems,, the Mid-Peninsula Girls Club.

YPP is a technology training and entrepreneurial development program for teenagers that concentrates its activities on the following areas:

Technical Skills
The technical training focuses on computer basics, introduction to graphic design using Macromedia Studio, HTML scripting, and Cascading Style Sheets. In the training, participants benefit from the expertise and experience of a wide range of Silicon Valley professionals. Volunteers from Wired, Intel Corporation, Crystal Dynamics, Stanford University School of Education, Cisco Systems, Macromedia, and Sun Microsystems have shared their talents with East Palo Alto teens.

Employment Experience
The employment experience is one of working in a real business environment. The teens operate a production business and develop Web sites and video products for paying clients earning money for their work. They are evaluated by their supervisors, critiqued by their clients, and to keep abreast of new developments in the field. Their hourly pay is dependent on skill level and ability to transfer skills to peers on the production team, as well as to other teens in the community. To review a portfolio of the work the teenagers have accomplished

Plugged In – Learning Through Technology

Plugged In connects individuals and cultivates minds by creating the opportunity to produce, express, and contribute using technology. Our vision is a community in which opportunities abound for people to contribute and innovate. Plugged In’s primary medium is Internet and computer technology and we would like to use television and radio as time, resources, and opportunities allow.

Since its establishment as a volunteer grassroots effort in 1992, Plugged In has evolved into a nationally acclaimed organization operating three innovative high impact programs:

Young Producers Program: A youth-operated Web and video production business. Clients include Hewlett-Packard Company and One East Palo Alto. Seventy percent of students who participate in the program enroll in computer science classes and 85% of program graduates pursue post-secondary degrees.

The East Palo Alto Community Network: A portfolio of nine Technology Access Points led by emerging community leaders and housed in a diverse range of community-based organizations serving the most in-need residents: East Palo Alto Senior Center, Light Tree Apartments, Free at Last, City Team Ministry, OICW, St. Samuel Church, Cesar Chavez Parent Resource Center, Belle Haven Parent Resource Center, and Hepeloni School. All the organizations are working to better serve their clients by incorporating technology. An online resource center where community members and organizations can find valuable information, current news, tools that assist them in achieving their individual and community goals, and opportunities to get engaged in community affairs. In one year, has attracted over 1000 subscribers and 35 content developers from the community.

Plugged In has been cited – in the press and by public and private officials – as a model for ensuring that low income communities have the opportunity to benefit from telecommunications and computer technology. It has been featured in Fast Company, the San Jose Mercury News, and Ms. Magazine. President Bill Clinton, United States Secretary of Commerce Don Evans, and former Chairman of the FCC William Kennard have visited the organization. Its local activities generate international attention and, each year, Plugged In receives visits from more than 75 people and organizations interested in learning about its programs and activities.

Plugged In receives support from a broad range of individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources. Funders include Hewlett-Packard Company, SBC, the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Foundation, and the Technology Opportunities Program at the United States Department of Commerce.