Making a difference: Q & A with YWCA Moncton’s Beth Lyons

, we once again had proof that we were making a difference. It’s a good feeling.

We asked Beth to talk about the important work done within the YWCA’s Youth Thrive program. Here’s what she had to say:

Why are programs that centre around academic success important to YWCA Moncton?
The academic success of the pre-teens and teens we work with is critical, because it will have a direct effect on their earning power and quality of life down the line, once they reach adulthood. It’s also tied into self-esteem: doing well in school is perceived as a measure of success. There is an element of shame associated with doing poorly in school. We want all our youth to face the world with strong self-esteem.

What is Youth Thrive?
The YWCA’s Youth Thrive program supports academic support for youth – both girls and boys – in the Moncton community. It involves two streams: Techno Tutoring and On My Way.

Can you explain each?
Techno Tutoring is for middle school girls and boys. Our paid tutors work twice a week with students in two schools who are chronically below grade level and really need extra support. Rogers funding also allowed us to purchase iPads, e-readers and LED tablets, all of which not only help learning, but also help remove the stigma that could otherwise have been associated with the program. Techno Tutoring sessions have become a place all students wish they could be. Finally, by entrusting these students, many of whom come from economically disadvantaged homes, with technology they might not otherwise have access to, we’re sending them a message of empowerment. They know we trust them to handle this equipment and it’s a much-needed boost to their self-esteem.

On My Way is a program for high school girls. Again, the focus is on academic success. We work with students who are performing below grade level and at risk of dropping out. The girls meet with us once a week for a full hour, and have access to iPads and e-readers. They also get the support they need to help them deal with the pressures of their lives, thanks to their ongoing relationships with tutors whose salaries are paid for by Rogers Youth Fund. It makes a huge difference to be able to count on the continued presence of paid staff.

What kind of difference do you think this makes in the lives of the young people you work with?
We worked with one boy who was reading well below grade level. All his friends were into the Hunger Games trilogy, and he wasn’t able to join in the conversation about this popular series because he found reading too hard. We were able to set him up with a Kobo e-reader and an iPod-enabled audio book. Having the audio took some of the pressure off. He was able to listen to the book and follow along with the e-reader, much as if it were close captioning. Not only was he able to discuss the book with his peers, but his reading skills improved.

Another young woman we’ve worked with was coming up to the deadline for her high school equivalency, and it was obvious she wouldn’t get there on her own. We set up her with one of our tutors, who helped her prioritize and understand her work. She graduated on time as a result.

Our thanks to Beth for taking the time out of her busy schedule to speak with us. Do you have any questions for us about the work we support through Rogers Youth Fund?

Minigraphics: Technology trends and predictions

Late last year, we surveyed 1040 Canadian smartphone and tablet owners to see how they used technology and what they predicted for the future. We presented the results in our latest Rogers Innovation Report, available through Slideshare. We also pulled together some of the statistics we found most interesting into a Rogers Innovation Report infographic. Now, we’re releasing some of our favourite individual statistics in dynamic minigraphic format.

Where do you stand on the following questions?

Looking back, in 2012…

Did you download a racy novel to a mobile device?

Ah, 2012: the year of E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey. Were you among the one-in-ten Canadian smartphone and tablet users who decided to opt for discretion and convenience by buying the electronic version of the novel and others like it through Amazon, iTunes and other online retailers? Hover your mouse over the dynamic minigraphic above to get other e-reader stats from around the world.

 

Have you ever used your smartphone in the bathroom? If so, how often?

An astounding 83% of Canadian smartphone users take the device with them to the washroom. A similar survey conducted in the UK last May concluded that 75% of respondents used their smartphone in the bathroom. We’d consider those people nomophobes – or people who experience stress when they’re unable to use their mobile phone – but I certainly wouldn’t consider them germophobes!

 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement ‘In the next 5 years babies will be using technology before they can walk or talk.’

Did the 44% of Canadian respondents who answered “yes” to this question have this video in mind? I know I did. Hover your mouse over our interactive baby minigraphic to access other similar precocious tablet baby videos on YouTube.

To get non-interactive versions of our Rogers Innovation Report minigraphics, visit our Pinterest page.

So? Where did you rank? Are you following Canadian trends? Ahead of them maybe? Tell us where you think technology is heading in the comments below or join us on Twitter to discuss the results using the #RIRExplores hashtag.

Michelle is a regular contributor to the Redboard blog.

Tech Essentials at your fingertips!

We recently surveyed Canadians like you about their knowledge of technology, curious to find out more about their comfort level.

While 60% of Canadians give themselves a B grade or higher for overall tech savviness, only 4% actually earn that grade. When tested on online security, data usage and roaming, 64% got most of the online safety questions wrong, 60% are stumped by data usage and 47% don’t understand roaming. The good news is that 87% of you are interested in learning more, with  83% of you open to using a website dedicated to helping consumers improve their tech knowledge.

You asked, we delivered. Today we’re launching Tech Essentials, a new program that provides Canadians with a deeper understanding of how to safely and properly use today’s technology. Tech Essentials provides information ranging from how to make smart and safe digital choices to resources for parents managing their child’s online use.

Tech Essentials content can be accessed through your laptop or on your mobile device, and includes how-to videos that you’ll want to check out. Here’s one on Safe wireless habits for kids:

From roaming to billing, to choosing the best device for your needs, Tech Essentials covers the must-know subjects that are relevant to most Canadians. Since online safety is important to us here at Rogers, we’re working with non-profit organizations MediaSmarts and the Canadian Centre for Child Protection to promote safe technology use through this program. We’re also proud that the Tech Essentials site has been accredited by the independent organization Parent Tested Parent Approved.

Why not test your own Tech Essentials knowledge right here and now? Did you know:

… that roaming charges are applied to text messages? Neither did more than one quarter of Canadians (28%)

… that text messages are separate from data allotment. You’re not alone: 82% of Canadians were unaware of this fact

… that your device’s security settings and software determine how safe you are when using Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet? More than two-thirds (68%) of Canadians did not know or believe this fact.

How tech savvy are you? Take our online quiz at www.rogers.com/techessentials to find out!

UPDATE: January 21 2013, 9:40 am. You can access our Tech Essentials Communications Technology Savviness Survey Summary Report on Slideshare, for more information on our survey and its methodology.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

 

The Rogers Top-12-of-2012

10! 9! 8! 7! The countdown is on! As we wind down another busy year here at Rogers, here’s a look back at some of the important milestones we reached in 2012.

Do you have any to add?

  1. Speed: We put a lot of emphasis on the ever-increasing speed of our networks this year. Have you tried the wild-and-crazy Rogers Speed Experience yet? Santa did! From our LTE network, to increasing our internet speeds to our full range of devices, speed was definitely on everyone’s lips in 2012.
  2. Innovation: We’ve always been an innovative company. Our Rogers Innovation Reports highlight our commitment to innovation through a series of surveys highlighting mobile and Internet usage by Canadians. Did you check out our latest? It highlights 2012 trends and your tech predictions for the years ahead. If all your holiday sugar and eggnog has made you data hungry, you can check out all our Rogers Innovation Reports on Slideshare.
  3. LTE: Innovation and speed came together for us in a big way in 2012 as we built upon our success as the first Canadian wireless company to launch an LTE network, in Ottawa, in 2011, followed by Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. 2012 brought the  opening of additional markets from coast to coast, including cities like Victoria, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Kingston, Quebec City, Moncton and St. John’s.
  4. Rogers One Number: February blues? Not at Rogers! It was the month we launched Rogers One Number. “RON” as the service is known to its friends, lets you talk, text and send picture messages, and video chat with other Rogers One Number users, all from your computer using your existing phone number. By using Rogers One Number, all calls to Canadian numbers, video chats with other Rogers One Number users and outgoing wireless text messages are free. Did you catch our contest winners’ Rogers One Number chat with Canada’s very own Hedley?
  5. Mobile Payments and Rogers suretap: We teamed up with CIBC to bring mobile payment to Rogers customers earlier this year. Canadian athlete extraordinaire Simon Whitfield was on hand to make Rogers’ first mobile payment. To learn more about how mobile payments and Rogers suretap work, check out our Rogers suretap video on YouTube.
  6. Next is Now … More than Ever: this 2nd in our ongoing video series looks at statistics that speak to how much Canadians value the Internet, smart appliances, the development of the dual-screen experience with TVs and tablets, smartphone usage, digital wallets, and the impact the Internet is having on health, government, education, and shopping. Have you checked it out yet?
  7. Windows 8: How proud were we to be chosen by Microsoft as the preferred Canadian wireless partner for the launch of the highly anticipated Windows 8! We’re bringing the largest selection of Windows 8 devices to the Canadian market, releasing the Nokia 920 back in October. For all the latest details on our Windows 8 offering, visit rogers.com/windows8.
  8. iPhone 5: what would a Rogers year be without an iPhone launch? It sends our sales and marketing teams, our call centres and our clients into an excited frenzy every time. The iPhone 5 brought us a slimmer device with an improved camera and loads of other rich features. Which iPhone 5 feature is your favourite?
  9. BlackBerry 10: Not to be outdone, the upcoming BlackBerry 10 is causing quite a stir. So much so that we’re already taking orders for it! Head over to rogers.com to reserve yours today.
  10. Exclusive devices: Whether it’s the Windows Phone 8X by HTC (8 GB), Nokia Lumia 920, the Samsung ATIV Smart PC and ATIV S Smartphone or the LG Optimus G 2600, 2012 brought Rogers customers access to an exciting range of exclusive smartphones, tablets and apps. Which is your current fave?
  11. Rogers Smart Home Monitoring: Remember the Jetsons? How cool is it that the life George, Jane, Judy and Elroy lived is (almost) here? Ok so maybe we don’t all have our own personal Rosey-the-robot-maid, and we’re not heading off to work in flying cars, but George and Jane would definitely feel at home with Rogers Smart Home Monitoring. From controlling sensors, cameras, thermostats, lights and small appliances remotely through your computer or smartphone, Rogers gives you a taste of the world Hanna Barbara could only imagine when they created the Jetson universe 50 years ago.
  12. Rogers Anyplace TV: Sports on your tablet. What more could a die-hard fan want? Sure, from Vancouver to Toronto to Montreal and everywhere in between we’re mourning our hockey season, but being able to watch the Jays or Raptors or the NBA or Sportsnet on our tablets helps ease the pain. And if sports aren’t your thing, no worries: Rogers Anyplace TV has something for you too. Ring in the New Year with any one of our new releases. Men in Black 3 maybe? Or how about Resident Evil: Retribution? Paranorman? I know! Why not enjoy the perfect merge of sports and Hollywood with Clint Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve? So many choices! Stop me now or I’ll be recommending movies into 2014!

Wow! What a year! So … have we forgotten anything? Which one of these great innovations changed your life in 2012? Drop by one of our newly revamped concept stores to tell us all about it! (I just had to slip a 13th in there … we’re on the cusp of 2013 after all!)

Happy new year everyone! All the best to you and yours: health and happiness for 2013, from our family to yours.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

A nation of Nomophobes : 83% of Canadians smartphone users take their devices to the bathroom, 51% to bed

Our annual survey of Canadian technology trends and predictions, is back! We surveyed Canadian smartphone and tablet users like you to find out what you’ve been up to in 2012, and to get a sense of where you think we’re heading in 2013 and beyond. Check out our Rogers Innovation Report infographic below to how you compare to other Canadians when it comes to some of the more common “Day in the life” statistics. From taking your smartphones to bed (51%) and to the bathroom with you (83%), to enjoying your erotica on e-readers and tablets (10%) to streaming Gangnam Style on your devices (43%), 2012 clearly showed that technology has become an integral part of our lives. Why, some might even say we’re a nation of Nomophobes! *

* Nomophobia : noun. A state of stress caused by having no access to or being unable to use one’s mobile phone.

Other interesting stats that emerged from the Rogers Innovation Report:

  • 67% believe that mobile payment will be the payment method of choice within 2 years;
  • 59% predict that within the next 2 years more Canadians will work from home thanks to developments in cloud technology and faster mobile speeds;
  • 82% believe that integrated technology systems that seamlessly connect 2 or more devices will increase in popularity in 2013;
  • 78% believe e-book sales will increase significantly in 2013. In 2011, that stat was 37%.

You can access the complete Rogers Innovation Report on Slideshare at slideshare.net/Rogers.

Join us on Twitter to discuss this year’s results using the #RIRExplores hashtag.

Michelle is a regular RedBoard contributor.

 

Friends of Simon and the Rogers Youth Fund: when a tutoring session is so much more…

and then SFU Dean of Education, Friends of Simon offers not only after-school tutoring, but emotional support to hundreds of young immigrants, including refugees, who have settled in BC’s Lower Mainland. At the same time, Friends of Simon provides a work program for university students who are matched with students aged 8-15 to ensure educational success.

We sat down with Professor Shaker, and two people working hard on the ground for Friends of Simon, Angela Flumerfelt, project coordinator, and one of her tutors, Joanne Miyaoka, to talk about the important work done by Friends of Simon. Here’s what they had to say:

Q: Why start a program like Friends of Simon?

Professor Shaker: As Dean of Education, I was looking for a community engagement project for our faculty. I also realized that our university students had a lot to share. I’d been inspired by a similar initiative out of Fresno, California, and was fortunate enough to find others who believed in the importance of this initiative as well. Our mission at the time was to help young immigrants, aged 8-12, settle into their new lives here in Canada. That meant success in school and the sense that they were part of a new community. Friends of Simon brings them not only scholastic, but moral support. With the help of Rogers Youth Fund, we’re now extending Friends of Simon to youth up to 15 years of age.

Q: What impact does Friends of Simon have?

Joanne Miyaoka: I see it every day, working with a young boy from the Karen tribe who spent years of his young life hiding in the jungle and living in refugee camps. He told me he’s been afraid to sleep. Now, he smiles, because he feels safe for the first time in his life. When he came to us, his English was at a level 1. Now, he’s at Level 4, which means that he’s caught up to all the other ESL students. That’s great progress in just a couple of years. Friends of Simon has helped some kids cope with bullying, and others escape from gangs. I realize now why our group is called Friends of Simon. We don’t just tutor these children. We become their friends and mentors. I’m really proud to be associated with Friends of Simon and I know my experiences here will be with me for the rest of my life.

Q: Is a Friends of Simon tutor just a tutor?

Angela Flumerfelt: They’re much much more than just tutors to the young people in our program. Just take the example of “Amira”, a student whose family emigrated from the Middle East. Amira has physical and learning disabilities. Friends of Simon was there for her when she first came to Canada and provided a safe haven for her. She became very attached to the university-aged women who tutor her. Now, Amira towers over us, but she still travels across town to participate in our after-school program as it’s not currently offered at the high school she’s attending. For me, the academic part of the Friends of Simon program is a by-product of the really critical piece, which is the relationship building. Our tutors build relationships and become role-models to our young students, and that’s fundamental. In many cases our students don’t already have university-level role models in their lives. Friends of Simon shows them that anything is possible, and young people like Amira will choose to continue to work with us to make sure that happens. I’d love nothing more than to see one of our students, like Amira, return to us one day as a tutor.

We’re proud to help support Friends of Simon, who are making a positive impact on the community they serve, through the Rogers Youth Fund.

Were you lucky enough to have a mentor like the tutors at Friends of Simon when you were young? Tell us about it in the comments section below. We’d love to hear your story.

Michelle is a regular contributor to Redboard

LTE speed just keeps on comin’! Rogers rolls out 18 new markets

to introduce LTE in Canada and in many of these markets, we will be the only LTE provider.

18 new markets, from West to East:

Here’s where you can now access Rogers LTE across the country:

  • British Columbia: Victoria, Abbotsford, Kelowna
  • Alberta: Edmonton
  • Saskatchewan: Saskatoon and Regina
  • Ontario: St. Catharines/Niagara, Oshawa/Pickering/Ajax, Windsor, Sudbury, Kingston, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton, London, Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Barrie
  • Quebec: Quebec, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières

LTE is also already available in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and surrounding cities, Calgary Vancouver and surrounding cities, as well as on the East coast in St. John’s and Moncton.

What does LTE mean for you as a Rogers customer?

  • Faster speeds! But don’t take it from us. Check out results from our LTE speed test contest and, while you’re at it, take a peek at how Rogers stacks up against the competition in a test by readers of the iPhoneinCanada blog, where the fastest speed was recorded by a user on the Rogers network in Brampton Ontario.
  • Even better access to data: since we first launched our Ottawa LTE network in July of last year, we’ve seen an 80% increase in data usage, and we expect wireless Internet usage on our network to grow six-fold by the end of 2016.
  • Increased mobility: according to Cisco, by 2015 more smartphones will be connected to the Internet than home computers. And the traffic generated from these on-the-go devices will exceed traffic from wired devices.
  • The largest selection of LTE devices of any Canadian carrier: among others, we’ll soon be carrying a unique version of the LG Optimus G that operates on the 2600 MHz spectrum, making it Canada’s fastest smartphone. The LG Optimus G will kick things into high gear with maximum theoretical LTE download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. On Rogers LTE customers will experience typical experienced speeds ranging from 12 Mpbs to up to 40 Mbps.**

Check out our LTE coverage map here and be on the lookout as we continue to expand our LTE coverage, adding additional markets this year and in 2013.

Michelle is a regular contributor to RedBoard

**As device selection evolves, speed capabilities will continue to rise on the Rogers LTE network as customers will be able to benefit from maximum theoretical network speeds of up to 150 Mbps. See www.rogers.com/coverage for full details on Rogers LTE network coverage.

The information in this post is current at the date of posting and is subject to change without notice.