Over the 20-year-history of community technology
centers (CTCs), impact has
tended to be measured in one way: Is anybody here? CTCs were established to
provide technology access—and by extension, new opportunities for learning
and skill development—to people who didn’t have computers at home
or at work.
1998, a group of final-year students in the School of Agriculture
the University of Zambia launched a new organization to help
future farmers—and particularly women—adjust to
the changing political and economic climate in their country.
When young people so readily joined the nation’s massive outpouring of generosity following September 11, their public spiritedness came as no surprise to one group of peoplethe K-12 teachers who use service-learning in their classrooms. Service-learning is a teaching strategy that combines classroom curriculum with community service, to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
EDC released a new study of community technology centers (CTCs). A longitudinal analysis of a dozen users over two years, it confirms that CTCs play an important and ongoing role in peoples’ lives. Participants quickly come to rely on the technical assistance, high-end equipment, and the social and educational opportunities the centers provide. Most users return regularly for additional support and training or as teachers themselves.
This past summer, a group of science teachers from northern Illinois
spent six weeks poring over student work from Japan, Germany, the
Czech Republic, and six other countries. As part of an EDC online
workshop, the Illinois teachers logged on to a website to review
student work and accompanying commentary from teachers.
Today, thanks to the efforts of EDC, 20 Latina mothers from Waltham, Massachusetts, are enrolled in a class that offers them not only English language instruction but also lessons in job readiness, social skills, community action, health, and self-esteem.