digital inclusion

Media Literacy Curriculum Development

VISTA Name: 
Erica Freshour
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Erica continues to be instrumental in the daily work of GRIID (Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy).

List of Projects/work description

Teen Mother’s Media Project
a.assisting in video camera and video editing instruction of teen mothers
b.developing weekly video exercises
c.assisting in script writing

Young Women for Change - Sexually Toxic Media Project
a.Assisting in video camera and video editing instruction of teenage women
b.Developing media literacy exercises for the participants
c.Gathering examples for the media literacy exercises from TV, ads and films
d.Facilitating discussion with participants

Anti-Tobacco Youth Project
a.Assisting in video camera and video editing instruction of teenage women
b.Developing media literacy exercises for the participants

News Monitoring Project
a.2 days a week of watch & logging data from three and one-half hours of local TV news
b.Assisting in writing reports

Six Month Movie Content Analysis Study
a.Watching 50 movies, logging data and editing clips
b.Assisting in editing films clips by themes

Project Outcome: 

Erica continues to be instrumental in the daily work of GRIID. She takes on 50% of the news monitoring work, community networking, media literacy workshops and grant-funded projects. Erica has also been instrumental in assisting with the creation of GRIID instructionals and video editing work that is essential to much of the GRIID work.

Edlab Group/Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology

Lynwood, WA

The EdLab Group (formerly the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (PSCTLT) is a private, non-profit center with funding from federal and state governments, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Our mission is to leverage the power of technology and diversity to transform teaching and learning.

In furtherance of this mission, the EdLab Group has adopted three major strategic objectives:

New Tools for Teaching and Learning: Optimize the performance of educators and other professionals by creating innovative methods and materials and helping others to use them.
Equity: Provide programs and support that address the achievement gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Evaluation: Provide evaluation services to empower programs and organizations to more effectively reach their outcomes and goals.

Oakland Technology Exchange West (OTX West)/Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute

Oakland, CA

The Marcus A. Foster Educational Institute (MAFEI) Oakland Technology Exchange West project (OTX-W) is a large-scale computer reuse program dedicated to providing high quality, refurbished home computers to families, students and teachers. As reflected in the scope of work and subsequent MOU agreement, MAFEI continues to meet the following objectives for FY 2004-05.

OTX-West is dedicated to eliminating the digital divide in Oakland, California. We do this by refurbishing surplus computers, educating families and providing ongoing access and support to those who have received our computers. The experiences of OTX-West over the past 6 years has demonstrated both the need for home computers in the community and the reuse model as a green way to meet the need.

In today’s world, everyone needs access to computers and the Internet in order to join the new economy. Access to education, health care, government agencies, jobs, and other services are all currently offered through the Internet. This need has many adults feeling like they are too old to learn the tools of the “information age.” This way of thinking, along with the lack of resources in the communities, contributes to the “digital divide” that exits in Oakland.

It is not enough to provide computers, although this is essential. OTX-West provides education that is necessary for those who are getting their computers for the first time. Technical support is also necessary to keep these computers working properly so that the people of Oakland can continue to learn and become a part of the “information age” and not be left behind.

Keystone Community Network (KCNet)

Lock Haven, PA

Keystone Community Network was established to provide the infrastructure for electronic access to local, state, and global information. The concentrated objective is to provide and enable “Education for Everyone, Everywhere, Everyday.”

The mission of KCnet will be to maintain a rural area network that will offer electronic services for the educational, cultural and economic advancement of local communities. KCnet will provide access to electronic information for all citizens, utilizing a variety of resources, human, economic, and technical.

KCnet will provide to the community an Internet access, empower the community to become life long learners, and promote community and economic development.

KCnet has in place the infrastructure to provide the global access to the community to enable them to become a viable player in economic development . Clinton County and its neighbors must have the access to information technology and a trained work force to compete in the 21st century.

Digital Sistas

Washington, DC

Digital Sisters (DS), Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization created to promote and provide technology education and enrichment for women and children who are traditioanlly underserved.

If the technology field is any indication of messages sent to women and girls research has shown that women have the least penetration in technology fields. This number decreasing by the inclusion of ethnicity and socio economic factors. Young girls are continuously sent daily messages that technology is “not for them.”

Working through enhance partnerships with community based organizations, corporations, technology centers and local schools, Digital Sisters provides assistance in closing the gender gap in technology that is plaguing single mothers. We have developed and implemented programs that promote needed life skills training and address the impact of the lack of technology skills on families. Our educational philosophy is based on a participatory and interactive learning approach.

By providing support through in and out of school activities, community outreach and professional workshops, Digital Sisters empowers women and girls which further strengthens families.

Our programs focus on the participants’ current goals; talents, abilities and interests, then begin to explore opportunities in technology. Sessions stress acquiring skills and knowledge that enhance self-confidence. Activities include hands-on experiences in the computer lab, speakers, and field trips. All programs are designed to provide technology education, increase awareness of gender equity, develop skills, to assist in personal growth, enhance learning, and to build self-esteem.

Digital Sisters’ programs and services will help participants to gain knowledge that can help to combat the alienation, apathy, discrimination and non-participation in technology related environments for those who are disadvantaged.

We provide innovative programs to assist traditionally underserved communities in creative, expressive and cooperative methods of learning utilizing technology empowerment strategies. Digital Sisters provides opportunities to families and individuals that might not otherwise get assistance every single day!

In addition we provide program planning and technology curriculum development for local schools, community technology and learning centers utilizing our technology empowerment strategies.

CTC Net Chicago Chapter

Chicago, IL

CTCNet Chicago is a coalition of local community technology centers, technology-focused community-based organizations and advocates who share the vision of CTCNet (, our founding organization, of a society in which all people are equitably empowered by technology skills and services.

Our Mission
CTCNet Chicago brings together agencies and communities that provide opportunities whereby people of all ages, who typically lack access and understanding of the relevance of computers and related technologies, can learn to use these technologies in an environment that encourages exploration and discovery. Through this experience, disadvantaged individuals will be able to develop self-confidence, personal and work skills, and to become creators as well as consumers of technology.

Our Vision
CTCNet Chicago will be a leading advocate of equitable access to computers, related technologies, and resource distribution. It will invite, initiate and actively encourage partnerships and collaborations with individuals and organizations that offer resources in support of its mission. And, it will strive, in every arena, to bring about universal technological enfranchisement.

Our Collective Impact
CTCNet Chicago member organizations provide disadvantaged individuals access to technology and technology training through programs and services that aim to:

Build community residents’ computer literacy
Create Internet content and technology-based art
Help at-risk youth disadvantaged and adults build critical thinking skills by enhancing public education programs
Facilitate job-readiness and technology job skills
Afford information access via the Internet
Improve quality of life for residents of low-income communities through active participation in the digital revolution

Community Technology Network of the Bay Area & Citizens Housing Corporation

San francisco, CA

Community Technology Network creates opportunities for people to learn 21st-century skills.

Despite an overall increase in Internet and computer access in 2009, only about 62% of those with incomes of under $25,000 have a computer at home, and disproportionate numbers of these individuals without access are elderly or Latino. This digital divide impacts a person’s ability to apply for jobs, access valuable community information, network with others and have the skills needed to maintain a job in today’s work places.

Community Technology Network (CTN) works to bridge the digital divide through programs that support and enhance digital literacy in the Bay Area’s most vulnerable neighborhoods.

CTN initiates and manages partnerships with organizations that have computer centers to equip low-income San Francisco Bay Area residents with the technological tools and resources they need to explore educational, professional and social opportunities in and beyond their communities.

CTN facilitates interaction and support between community technology leaders and practitioners to leverage, develop, and improve upon curricula and services. In this communal work flow, practitioners develop innovative resources, explore ideas, and disseminate information directly to colleagues. CTN collects this valuable information and shares it with community technology practitioners throughout the world.

Community Economic Development Corporation - Southern Massachusetts

New Bedford, MA

The Community Economic Development Center of Southeastern Massachusetts seeks to create a more just local economy by building bridges to resources, networks, and cooperative action for adults, youth, aspiring entrepreneurs, working families, grassroots organizations, and immigrant workers members of our community.

The work of the CEDC is created and directed by the people who will benefit most from its success.

CEDC challenges economic and political institutions and policies that exclude full participation and access to power by all members of our community.

» Empowering youth and adults with practical skills

» Giving access to technology and under-claimed resources

» Opening doors for new entrepreneurs

» Building literacy and supporting immigrant workers

» Community building and support of grassroots community organizations

» Striving to create affordable housing

Community Computer Access Network (C-CAN)

St Paul, MN

While C-CAN,The Community Computer Access Network is no longer active, the Technology Literacy Collaborative has taken up the work of this important initiative.

Please visit the TLC website to find out about programs and projects in the Twin Cities (MN) that address Digital Inclusion.

1st Chicago Neighborhood Digital Excellence Conference And Technology Fair

October 29, 2010
Chicago, IL

What is “digital excellence”? What does it mean for community and economic development, job creation, and connecting neighborhoods in Chicago? How do we create a “culture of use’ for digital tools and resources driven by “digital excellence”? What does “digital excellence” mean for how you and all of us work with each other in a city that wants to be a global player in the 21st century digital world?

Transmission Project