With many jobs requiring computer skills and job application procedures moving to online settings, digital literacy rates are becoming increasingly important in Americans’ ability to obtain a job and succeed in workplace settings. Research indicates that employees without computer skills tend to earn 30% – 40% less than their counterparts. In addition, students without regular access to a computer and the internet are 20% less likely to graduate from high school. The National Broadband Plan noted, “Digital literacy is a necessary life skill, much like the ability to read and write.”
To increase computer access for people with economic constraints, public computer centers have increasingly become the means by which people access the Internet and the latest computer resources that may normally be out of reach. ICC takes several avenues to improving community digital literacy by offering free classes and access to individuals and community groups and traveling to community partner locations to serve individuals that are homebound or unable to access public computer center resources.
Professor Brooke Hessler’s class completed a service-learning unit where they volunteered their time to work with ICC sponsored groups from Cleveland and Linwood Elementary and they wrote, blogged, or produced a video based on their experience. This video was a project compiled by Jessica Garvey, Alley Agee, Jesse Chavez, and Danielle Kutner.
Here are some examples of how the ICC serves area community groups.
The ICC is pleased to host and participate in the 2013 Girls Scouts Who Code! Oklahoma City Kickoff. The aim of this project is to improve girls’ interest in computer science activities and careers. In addition, the ICC will host a new Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma project sponsored by the Dell Corporation, in which girls learn how to create digital public service announcements on healthy lifestyles.
The ICC employs our mobile van to visit six homes for low-income seniors and adults with disabilities. Curriculum includes obtaining an email address. learning how to write a letter, and learning how to apply for online social security administration services.
Due to partner space and resource constraints, the ICC serves as a computer lab for Positive Tomorrows, Oklahoma’s only charter school for homeless populations. A varied multimedia curriculum teaches students skills and exposes them to software that supports academic goals.
Please feel free to download the ICC's brochure here. (PDF, 2.9MB)