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PSN on July 1, 2008 - 11:07am
Strengthening the national network of community technologycenters will create real-world technology training for the nextgeneration. CommunityTechnology (CT) is the purposeful use of computers, Internet, and digitalcommunication systems by non-profit and community-based organizations toenhance the delivery of mission in a way that helps people develop technologyliteracy skills through beneficial, hands-on interaction with technology.
Some states such as California, Illinois,NorthCarolina andOhio, have established a fund or council to address the digital divide. WashingtonState has recently taken aggressive steps to increase digital literacy. The Washington State legislature allocated $500,000 to supportWashington's Community Technology programs. SenateBill 6438 created a statewide high-speed Internet development process andestablished the Community Technology Opportunity Program (CTOP) that willprovide resources for capacity-building forand grant-giving to Community Technology programs that provide hands-ontechnology access and training to residents. Additionally, the legislationdevelops a high-speed Internet deployment and adoption strategy through amulti-sector work plan, as well as a statewideweb directory of Community Technology programs will be developed.
In order to ensure residents obtain thenecessary training to be successful in the 21st century, statesshould:
- Promote a healthy nonprofit community able to train and support low-income residents to participate in a digitally inclusive society.
- Promote computer donation programs.
- Promote an emergent, technology-enabled entrepreneur and small business sector.
- Ensure every child is technology-skilled to access, apply, as well as produce digital information in relevant and beneficial ways.
- Have effective partnerships around community technology success with aligned and interested groups, including business and other private sector players, and encourage the appropriate level of reinvestment of Telecom/Technology sector resources for digital inclusion, work skill training and related purposes.