Community, Technology & Learning
We promote and support "community technology," embracing a collection of activities that are as varied and rapidly evolving as the computer itself. The common thread is that these activities are grounded in the daily lives of people who share a place—a neighborhood, a housing complex, a school, a rural county—and who want to learn about technology.
We provide technical assistance, curriculum design and development, and training to practitioners in the field, serving preschool children, displaced workers, seniors, adults, teenagers, immigrants, and migrant workers. They may be learning office computer skills, sending e-mail, practicing English, designing Web pages, exploring scientific concepts, taking an inventory of community assets, or making digital movies.
We work with funding agencies and foundations to improve program design and develop comprehensive research and evaluation plans.
We work with afterschool programs to help integrate technology, science, and media experiences into academically enriching activities.
The America Connects Consortium is a national collaborative that provides technical assistance, training, and research and evaluation services to community technology centers (CTCs), particularly those supported by the U.S. Department of Education. Working with a variety of partners, we address the centers’ needs for information about education, workforce development, sustainability, civic engagement, media literacy, and many other topics. Field innovation grants to CTCs support the development of innovative products by and for professionals in the field.
The YouthLearn Initiative works to support educators in the development of technology-enriched learning experiences, both online and face to face. Activities include professional development workshops for both formal and informal instructors, evaluation and technical assistance to the youth media field, program design services for afterschool providers, and consultation on effective international telecentre development. The YouthLearn Guide: A Creative Approach to Working with Youth and Technology contains lessons, worksheets, and sample activities to help practitioners combine new technologies with proven teaching techniques.
ScienceQuest is an NSF-funded project that supports science investigations among at-risk middle school youth who meet in community-based organizations after school. Working with a tested and research-based curriculum, adult coaches lead small teams of youth to discover their own interests in the world of science. The youth use high-end tools and community resources to answer their passionate questions about the world, and then build original Web sites to teach others about their discoveries.
The Young Leaders CD is a multimedia collection of resources, ideas, and insights from our Young Leaders program, including video interviews with teens and their writings about issues that matter to them, from racism to the media.
"ScienceQuest is one of my favorite classes . . . and the amount and quality of support we received is unparalleled."
—CTC coordinator, New York City
Your [YouthLearn] site . . . is the best (most well-organized, most user-friendly, most comprehensive, most progressive, most educationally sound, most useful, most 'real') site I've seen . . . in all my years of browsing the Web. My recent discovery of it is already significantly impacting my teaching. Thank you.
—Teacher, Bella Vista Elementary
Strategic Director, Community, Technology, and Learning