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Using Technology to Provide Technical Legal Assistance to Advocates at the State and National Level Matthew Burnett Immigration Advocates Network/Pro Bono.

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Presentation on theme: "Using Technology to Provide Technical Legal Assistance to Advocates at the State and National Level Matthew Burnett Immigration Advocates Network/Pro Bono."— Presentation transcript:

1 Using Technology to Provide Technical Legal Assistance to Advocates at the State and National Level Matthew Burnett Immigration Advocates Network/Pro Bono Net

2 Outline oPros and Cons oTech Tools oBest Practices oResources oQuestions/Contact Info

3 Pros and Cons: Overview Pros: oCost Savings oIncreased Participation oMore Efficient Content Delivery oIncreased Interactivity oArchived Resources and Training Materials oEnvironmental Impact oOthers? Cons: oLimits Face-to-Face Social Interaction oAdvocates Must Adapt to New Technology oOthers?

4 Pros Cost Savings oEliminate the cost of: oTime spent away from work oTravel oFood and lodging oConference materials oConference hosting

5 Pros Increased Participation oAdvocates can access trainings and materials regardless of geographic location oCost savings can be passed onto advocates, making trainings less costly (or free) oTime spent traveling to and from trainings is eliminated, so advocates may be more likely to attend oAdvocates may feel more comfortable participating online or via email

6 Pros More Efficient Content Delivery oResources can be made available online and in the context of other complementary resources (case law, statutes, sample pleadings, etc) oOnline materials are available 24/7 - before, during and after trainings oSubstantive and procedural changes (new cases, legislative changes, etc.) can be easily communicated in real time

7 Pros Increased Interactivity oTechnology facilitates interactions beyond a specific training or publication oListservs, wikis, and social media allow advocates to collaborate in real time, share work product and quickly respond to changes in the law oTechnology facilitates the organic development of communications and resources

8 Pros Archived Resources and Training Materials oTechnology facilitates broad access to and the continued availability of technical assistance resources oReduces duplication oEliminates need to offer multiple trainings at different times and places oReduces need to deliver materials to advocates multiple times

9 Pros Environmental Impact oTravel, hotel stays and conference materials have an environmental impact oMy trip to EJC: oFlight:.32 tons of CO2 oTaxi:.02 tons of CO2 oHotel:.28 tons of C02 oTotal:.62 tons of C02 oCost to offset ($12 per ton of CO2): $7.44

10 Pros Others?

11 Cons Limits Face-to-Face Social Interactions oWhile technology is becoming better at facilitating social interaction, it still doesnt replace face-to-face communications oFor this reason, it may not be a good solution where team building and enhancing interpersonal communications are important training outcomes

12 Cons Advocates Must Adapt to New Technology oWhile there are many efficiencies to using technology to provide technical assistance, there are also some inherent costs: oTime spent learning how to use new technology and providing tech support to advocates oCosts in implementing new platforms and upgrading equipment/infrastructure oEffort spent accommodating advocates who resist new ways of doing things

13 Cons Others?

14 Tech Tools: Overview oWebsites oWebinars/Online Trainings oMultimedia oPodcasts oVideos/Webcasts oCommunications Tools oEmail oListservs oRSS oOnline Chat oSocial Media oSocial Bookmarking oWikis oVirtual Worlds

15 Tech Tools: Websites Websites oThe backbone of online technical assistance, websites provide: oA portal to news, events and other resources oA clearinghouse for substantive training materials and multimedia oAn opportunity to describe your project, staff and partners oA mechanism to collect user data for marketing and communications

16 Tech Tools: Websites

17 Tech Tools: Webinars Webinars/Online Trainings oThe primary delivery mechanism for online trainings, webinars provide: oThe ability to share a PowerPoint or other presentation with an audience oBuilt-in chat oIntegrated conference calling oPolling and other interactive features oAutomated registration and notifications oReal-time feedback and post-training surveys oReporting on registration and participation

18 Tech Tools: Webinars

19 Tech Tools: Multimedia Podcasts oAudio broadcasts that can be subscribed to using software like iTunes, podcasts provide: oA rich, condensed format with which to provide timely substantive updates oThe ability to easily accommodate multiple perspectives on an issue within one resource oCompelling multimedia content thats inexpensive and easy to produce oA way to capture regional and national perspectives on an issue without the barriers of a host or listeners physical location

20 Tech Tools: Multimedia

21 Video/Webcasts oVideos provide: oA rich multimedia experience oThe ability to archive past trainings and make them available for advocates to watch online at their convenience oWebcasts provide: oAccess to live trainings in real time oThe ability to interact with the trainer or other participants through text chat

22 Tech Tools: Multimedia

23 Tech Tools: Communication Email oEmail tools allow you to: oEfficiently respond to requests for technical assistance oSend blast emails to advocates about new resources, trainings and practice updates oTarget emails to advocates by geographic area or substantive interest oSolicit feedback and comments on proposed legislation and other advocacy efforts

24 Tech Tools: Communication Listservs oListservs and email groups allow you to: oSupport peer-to-peer technical assistance oDirectly communicate to large numbers of advocates oCultivate a community of advocates with similar interests oIdentify advocates with various specializations and interests

25 Tech Tools: Communication RSS (Really Simple Syndication) oAn easy method of delivering information to advocates without their having to go to your website, RSS provides: oNearly instant updates for users using RSS feed readers (e.g. iGoogle, Netvibes, and most email clients) oThe ability to embed your content on other websites and have it automatically update when you post new resources

26 The What: Communication

27 Tech Tools: Communication Online Chat oA way to provide live technical assistance to users online, chat provides: oA platform to assist users in navigating web-based resources oA way to provide technical assistance to attorneys in real time

28 Tech Tools: Communication

29 Tech Tools: Social Media Social media defines activities that integrate technology and social interaction. Examples of social media applications that could be used to provide technical assistance include: oSocial Bookmarking ( oWikis (Wikipedia) oVirtual Worlds: (Second Life)

30 Tech Tools: Social Media Social Bookmarking oA way to allow users to collaboratively tag or bookmark online resources, social bookmarking provides: oA system to collectively aggregate and share online resources oA tool to assist advocates in tracking news and new developments in a substantive area

31 Tech Tools: Social Media


33 Wikis oWebsites that enable users to contribute or modify content, wikis provide: oA platform that allows advocates to collaboratively develop new resources thats easy to update over time oAn online space for groups to share substantive resources and advocacy materials oA project management tool

34 Tech Tools: Social Media

35 Virtual Worlds oComputer-based simulated environments where users interact as avatars, virtual worlds provide: oA rich, immersive experience that can simulate real world environments (i.e. court rooms, lecture halls, conference rooms, etc.) oOpportunities to interact in simulated environments with other advocates regardless of location using voice or text chat

36 Tech Tools: Social Media

37 Best Practices: Overview oPlanning oCollaboration oCommunity Building oE-Learning oSelecting the Right Tools

38 Best Practices: Planning Planning oMany online tools and applications are inexpensive and relatively easy to implement, which leads to a lot of half-baked projects oPlanning is still an important step! Understanding the needs of your community, their comfort with technology and the resource requirements for implementing technology solutions for technical assistance are crucial.

39 Best Practices: Collaboration Collaboration: oDevelopments in information and communications technologies have made collaboration easier than ever before oDont give up these gains by creating projects that dont engage key stakeholders or that dont support deep collaboration among advocates and organizations that are doing similar work

40 Best Practices: Community Community Building oBuilding robust online communities is an important outcome for several reasons: oLeads to increased peer-to-peer support oProvides an efficient advocacy platform oOpens doors to new collaborations oFacilitates rapid responses to legislative and policy changes oHelps advocates to feel like they are part of a larger movement and vision

41 Best Practices: Community Community Building oA few tips on online community building: oProvide tools and resources that are engaging enough to support a community of advocates oChoose technologies that support collaboration oUse language that underscores the importance of community and shared values and activities in your communications oHighlight successful collaborations oMake a list of members available to other members (transparency)

42 Best Practices: E-Learning E-Learning oMake resources available in a variety of formats oProvide guides to using technology tools so that technology itself doesnt become a barrier to learning oSurvey users to identify which formats are successful and which resources are useful (usage metrics can also be helpful for this) oExperiment with new formats/resources and update existing ones based on user feedback

43 Best Practices: Tools Selecting the Right Tools oWhen researching various tools, consider: oCosts oScalability oHow easy it is to learn and use oIntegration with other tools oSecurity oHow widely its used oTechnical support

44 Resources Pro Bono Net LSNTAP Technola

45 Questions/Contact Questions? Contact info: Matthew Burnett

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