Some nice things former students and friends have said about the Tech Learning Collective. If you’ve participated in a TLC course or workshop and have feedback of any sort, please send it in to us. We appreciate hearing about your experience and are especially grateful to everyone who’s provided a testimonial below.
“enlightening[,…] practical, and solution-oriented”
I joined Tech Learning Collective’s “Practical Digital Security” workshop because I had heard how easy it was to find out personal information about people on websites without their knowledge or permission and their workshop description promised to show me how I could protect myself from this sort of thing.
It did not disappoint! Not only did the workshop cover this topic directly, the instructor showed us exactly how “doxing” happens and the specific data broker websites that are used. For me, it was enlightening to learn about specific companies involved (augh, Facebook, of course!) and tools that I could use to automatically notify me of my personal information being out there, like Google Alerts and Firefox Monitor.
But there was so much more, too. I’m impressed at how practical and solution-oriented the whole experience felt. At the end of the workshop, I got the feeling that everyone got all their questions answered, which is really rare for classes like this.
“just the right combination of informative and challenging”
I really enjoyed the Clearing Away the Clouds class on networking. I know only a tiny bit about networking but am trying to learn more to be a responsible and safe digital citizen. This class was just the right combination of informative and challenging. The instructutor definitely dove into some really complicated ideas but always took the time to go back and make sure that we understood.
“Outstanding webinar taught by a phenominal instructor!”
Outstanding webinar taught by a phenomenal instructor! [My TLC instructor] was not only a wealth of knowledge, but was also engaging, patient, and knew how to explain even the most complex concepts in a way that everyone can understand. As a software teacher myself, I always appreciate high-quality instruction that not only educates, but also does so in a fun, and efficient manner. I can safely say that I have learned more about computers in the single Tech Learning Collective “Digital Defenses for the People: Practical Digital Security” workshop I attended than I have in four years of college. I cannot recommend the Tech Learning Collective highly enough!
“I really appreciate the femme-friendly communications”
When I attended Tech Learning Collective’s “Securing Email” PGP workshop, I was expecting more of a simple how-to, but the instructor was detailed and informative, and went deeper to show us what encryption really is, how keys work, and where to find more information. The workshop was thorough but unintimidating and the instructor did a good job of checking the group’s temperature and staying in tune with our respective paces of learning and skill set. Also I really appreciate the femme-friendly communications and price structure.
“cogent, concise, and free of unnecessary technical jargon”
TLC’s workshop on securing email was very well organized and easy to follow. At every step of the way during demonstrations, actions taken were clearly explained along with their intended purpose. The instructor’s delivery was cogent, concise, and free of unnecessary technical jargon. The instructor facilitated an informative conversation with attendees about encryption and related issues. This workshop provided a convincing case for using encryption and demonstrated how easily it can be implemented. I look forward to setting up encryption for my personal communications and reaping the benefits.
“I’m learning way more in Tech Learning Collective workshops than my college classroom”
The amount I’m learning in Tech Learning Collective workshops is way more than what I was learning in my college classroom. As a computer science major, most of the curriculum was all about theory and had very little practical work. TLC more than fills in that gap for me. Another reason I’m frequenting TLC events is for their community! I would’ve never known how vibrant TLC’s alternative tech community was. I’m definitely looking forward to participating in as many Tech Learning Collective events and courses as possible.
“simply so illuminating”
I knew that I have a lot to learn about digital security and online privacy, but I didn’t know exactly what I had to learn, or how to start. After I took Tech Learning Collective’s Signal and Surveillance workshop, though, the things I didn’t know that I didn’t know became a lot clearer. At the same time, the workshop got me jazzed to take other courses from them. It was simply so illuminating!
“helped demystify how computers are set up”
As a Data Scientist coming from statistics instead of computer science, Tech Learning Collective’s NET101 course and their Clearing Away the Clouds: How Computer Networks, Servers, and the Internet Work workshop helped demystify how computers are set up and talk to one another. The concepts were broken down into easy to digest bite sized pieces allowing the unfamiliar language to become new and accessible vocabulary, which upon reflection seemed to be the biggest hurdle in my understanding. Thanks so much!
“immensely helpful…tools that I could use in everyday life”
The Practical Digital Security workshop [I attended] was immensely helpful. It provided me with a sense of calm, explained different levels of threat, and left me with tools that I could use in everyday life. The class not only helped me as an individual, but in ways I could share with my work, friends, and family. The teaching style was informative and engaging. It was a very well-spent Saturday!
“welcoming for beginners, but still engaging for more experienced people”
[A]fter checking the[ir Gone Phishing workshop] out, I highly recommend!! I’ve gone to a lot of meetups, including a few cybersecurity workshops, and what they are doing is really top of the line. The workshop was a good middle ground of welcoming for beginners, but still engaging for more experienced people. I learned so much! It was well-paced and had a tight, manageable scope, but I also walked away with a ton of links of additional resources to explore on my own time. So if you’re in the NYC area and have the chance, definitely check out their calendar!
“way more educational than anything I’ve been to before”
I do IT in my day job and have a small budget for “professional development,” so I’ve taken a lot of tech classes and workshops. I heard about TLC from a friend and signed up for the Tor workshop, since it was a pretty unusual opportunity for me. I wasn’t expecting much but it turned out to be way more educational than anything I’ve been to before! At other workshops, I often left feeling talked-at instead of being offered clear explanations of the topic. But at the TLC workshop, the environment was really interactive, and the teacher made really advanced stuff seem super simple in a way I never saw before. I was shocked at how high the quality of both the material and the instruction was, given how inexpensive the tickets are in comparison to everything else out there right now.
“in only a few minutes…forever changed how I use my computer.”
I first learned about TLC at an open mic night in Brooklyn where one of the teachers did a demo about fake websites. It kind of blew me away! In only a few minutes, they showed us how to check for encryption in the browser, and even taught us how to verify HTTPS certificates. I had heard about my friends’ Facebook accounts getting taken over and after that demo I actually understood how it happened. Now, whenever I go to PayPal or log in to my social media accounts, I check the site’s certificate! That one demo forever changed how I use my computer.
“I actually felt comfortable in a tech class.”
I’ve been trying to learn more about digital privacy and security for months, but every time I went to a meetup, I felt intimidated by the huge egos of my male-presenting, job-oriented “peers.” As a femme person who’s always been interested in science and technology, it wasn’t until I went to the workshop on Tor that I felt not only treated with respect, but like it was safer to ask questions and not know everything already. I actually felt comfortable in a tech class. I learned way more in their workshop than I ever had at any of the other tech spaces. I’m grateful that TLC offers courses with a specific focus in activist work, and that there are teachers who make me feel more at ease with this material. Now I can actually focus on learning stuff!
“I finally feel empowered in a real way.”
I study data science in school, and was feeling limited because what I was learning in school felt like it wasn’t enabling me to do the projects I wanted. There was a lot of talk about how technology could empower me, but I feel like my school is basically just grooming me for a job in marketing. TLC changed that. Now, I finally feel empowered in a real way. After attending the networking basics workshop, I feel head and shoulders above the rest of my class at school. I’m showing my peers things with Wireshark that not even my professors have seen. Now I feel like I can carve my own path through this industry. I can’t recommend TLC classes highly enough.
“I learned more in two hours than I had in two years.”
I’ve been interested in digital privacy for a long time, and then when Trump got elected I started going to privacy workshops regularly. I met some really great people, but beyond using Signal and not using social media, it was really hard for me to understand how to protect my privacy online. Then I went to the TLC’s Tor workshop and I learned more in two hours than I had in two years. I wish more people running digital privacy events would do it like TLC!
“left me in a much better position to continue learning on my own [than a code bootcamp].”
Finding a job after college has been extremely tough. I even borrowed money from my parents to take a coding bootcamp because I’ve been trying to find work. I know TLC isn’t focused on jobs, but having gone through both the web coding bootcamp and TLC’s HTML basics workshop, my advice is: don’t waste your money at a bootcamp! At the bootcamp, I got a lot of stuff thrown at me but it was the wrong stuff. TLC filled in all the gaps and left me in a much better position to continue learning on my own. All the information is out there for free, so what you’re really paying for is someone to guide you through the material and connect the pieces. TLC did that for me better, faster, and for thousands of dollars less.