The pandemic has shown that pretty much everything can be done on the computer. You can order your groceries, pay your bills and even meet with your colleagues. Because of that, it’s easy to take digital literacy for granted.

Things like the internet, Microsoft Word and Powerpoint are second nature for most who own a computer. But for some, these programs aren’t easily understood.

With mostly everything making the move online, Can Code Communities is making sure people are equipped with the knowledge to pay their bills, shop online and write a resume.

“We served, I think it was about 85 people last year through the pandemic, teaching them how to use the computer through the computer,” said Annmarie Lanesey, founder and CEO of Can Code Communities.

Can Code Communities has teamed up with the New York State Office of New Americans to offer virtual digital literacy courses. Anyone who uses resources from the Office of New Americans is eligible.

“We start at the basic level. So, how to work a computer, how to work your file system, different parts of the computer,” said Lee McPeters, an instructor and career services advisor for Albany Can Code, which is under the Can Code Communities umbrella.

McPeters has taught two digital literacy courses since June 2020. Both have been virtual because of pandemic restrictions.

Ysabel Barreto, who lives in Kingston, is one of McPeters’ students. She came to America from Peru in 1996. While she knew some of the basics, the courses taught her how to create a webpage. She’s now taking more advanced courses, including how to use JavaScript.

“It was a little hard but interesting and at the same time, learning things, new things that I never imagined in my life to get into,” said Barreto.

It’s also opened the door for a potential new career path. Immigrants statewide are invited to participate in the courses. No previous experience is necessary.