The Net Inclusion: The National Digital Inclusion Summit is coming to St Paul May 16-17. It’s going to be a great time to hear from practitioners, scholars and policymakers all over the US working hard to expand access to and use of broadband. It’s also an opportunity to show off what’s happening in the Twin Cities.
On the morning of May 16 visitors are invited to join one of three site tours showcasing interesting digital inclusion efforts in the areas. There are two bus tours and one walk tour. Each tour starts at the hotel (the Intercontinental on Kellogg) at 8:30 and ends back at the conference at the James J Hill Reference Library.
Tour One – Walking Downtown St Paul
The walking tour will start with a quick look at the Lac qui Parle County Computer. It is a rehabbed mobility van tricked out with computer and a broadband network that travels around LqP County in Western Minnesota stopping in small towns ready to provide access and help people learn to use the computers and/or computers and devices they bring to the van.
Next stop is the hallowed halls of the newly renovated George Latimer Central Library; visitors will get a brief tour of the 100 year old building with an emphasis on areas where they provide digital literacy education and the Innovation Lab, where we teach technology, business and career skills to adults.
Final stop the Science Museum of Minnesota to check out the Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center where cohorts of teens take an challenges that mashup science, technology and civic engagement and check out the Computer Education Center, which offers a wide range of computer software training such as SharePoint and Web Design.
Tour Two – Bussing Around Minneapolis
[Please note changes made May 7 due to circumstance beyond our control]
We’ll begin at the University of Minnesota Technology Empowerment Center. They offer a full spectrum of community tech programs starting with digital literacy classes on up to A+ certification courses, alongside their business incubator and walk-in technical support services for residents. There will also be a special appearance from the Fix-It Tech program; they offer open events where you bring in a broken item and they help you fix it.
Second stop will be Project for Pride in Living on Chicago Ave. PPL gets homes built and helps people with the skills they need to afford and maintain a home. We’ll be checking out some of their employment training and youth programs and see how they integrate digital inclusion in everything they do.
Tour Three – Bussing through Midway in St Paul
We’ll be starting with St Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN), home to the 35 Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) AmeriCorps members who teach tech skills to low-income families and immigrants at nonprofits, libraries and museums around the Twin Cities. As an extra bonus, we’ll get to check out the neighboring Independent Filmmaker Project, a CTEP site teaching media production skills to youth.
Next stop PCs for People – where they offer refurbished, donated computers, computer repair and broadband access to low incomes households. On one end they have operations which are NAID certified to do data sanitation on corporate donations and hosts around the corner lines of hopeful recipients.