The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday March 28th

Mind the gap; Technology Without Borders helps with Internet access

The digital divide is one step closer to shrinking, thanks to Technology Without Borders.

Last fall, TWB began a project that would bring free Internet to low-income families with students.

The digital divide is an issue in today’s society, with more computers and Internet being used in classrooms and for homework, but it isn’t just an issue for the younger generation.

People losing their jobs in the wake of the economic drought have found themselves waking up in a technological world where resumes are submitted online and computer knowledge is a necessary skill, and many are not equipped.

In the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district, 1,100 kids classify as underserved, which means they don’t have Internet or computers in their homes.

TWB chose to begin its project in Abbey Court Condominiums because 191 of the under-served students live in Abbey Court alone.

The project was undertaken in three steps. It began by setting up wireless routers throughout Abbey Court, which was followed by community computer training classes for adults through the Human Rights Center. It will finish with the distribution of free computers to homes with underserved students.

TWB is working in conjunction with the Kramden Institute in Durham and Renny Johnson, manager of the Community Connection Program, who have helped make the computer donations for the project.

The group has installed several routers throughout the community. TWB volunteers are also giving computer training classes and are working in the Human Rights Center with the after-school program to get to know residents on a personal level.

TWB has only begun to combat the digital divide. Its work is vital in helping those who do not have access to the Internet in a society that greatly values technological advances, computer skills and literacy.


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