CTCNet, the Community Technology Movement, and the Prospects for Democracy in America

CTCNet, the Community Technology Movement, and the Prospects for Democracy in America

Peter Miller (Community Technology Centers’ Network, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-878289-69-8.ch009
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In a large, airy room there is a crowd of young people and adults all working at computers. In one group students are having their first experience using a spreadsheet on an IBM PS/1. At the same time, in another corner, a senior adult is teaching herself to use a database on an IBM PC. A young man is updating the church’s membership files and printing mailing labels. A young woman is at the Macintosh working on a desktop publishing project, and two teenagers are in another corner debating how best to make the Logo Turtle do what they want it to do. Others are casually ‘messing about’ with simulations. They are all using these technologies to achieve their own personal goals and objectives.1 This description of an open public access session at the Playing to Win (PTW) Harlem Community Computing Center in the late 1980s contains a vision that extends far beyond technology access and education in a single storefront setting—for PTW was one of the country’s earliest examples of a technology education and access program established in a non-school community center, specifically for people of low-income and low literacy. It gave birth to what has become the Community Technology Centers’ Network (CTCNet), a nationwide support project and membership association of more than 300 community organizations establishing similar technology education and access programs for disenfranchised communities or some special subset of its members. And PTW did this by embodying and making explicit a vision of democratic education around technology that is transformative and liberating for individuals, organizations, communities, and society at its best, one that is applicable to the community technology movement in general and to the wider and broader struggle for democracy and social change.

Complete Chapter List

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Table of Contents
Michael Gurstein
Chapter 1
Michael Gurstein
There is an emerging need for all sectors of society to find ways to optimize the opportunities which information and communications technologies... Sample PDF
Community Informatics: Enabling Community Uses of Information and Communications Technology
Chapter 2
Andrew Clement, Leslie R. Shade
This chapter presents the Access Rainbow, a seven-layer conceptual model of access to the information/communications infrastructure intended to... Sample PDF
The Access Rainbow: Conceptualizing Universal Access to the Information/Communications Infrastructure
Chapter 3
Thomas Beale
Although many community informatics (CI) efforts to date have been successful (see e.g., Beamish, 1995), few appear to have been part of a strategic... Sample PDF
Requirements for a Regional Information Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities-The Case for Community Informatics
Chapter 4
Brian D. Loader, Barry Hague, Dave Eagle
Throughout the world millions of people are getting online to the Internet to exchange information and communicate with each other to form what... Sample PDF
Embedding the Net: Community Empowerment in the Age of Information
Chapter 5
Paul M.A. Baker
Traditionally communities have been linked to the underlying geography, so that the identity of a community, for instance a neighborhood in a city... Sample PDF
The Role of Community Information in the Virtual Metropolis: The Co-Existence of Virtual and Proximate Terrains
Chapter 6
David Bruce
Popular press and government rhetoric suggest that there has been steady progress in the extent to which individuals, households, businesses... Sample PDF
Differential IT Access and Use Patterns in Rural and Small-Town Atlantic Canada
Chapter 7
John Cawood, Seamus Simpson
If information and communications technologies are to be used to support community efforts to achieve social and economic development, then policies... Sample PDF
Building the Information Society from the Bottom Up? EU Public Policy and Community Informatics in North West England
Chapter 8
Doug Schuler
Global forces—economic, political and technological — threaten communities in many ways. On the one hand, citizens may feel like they’re part of an... Sample PDF
New Communities and New Community Networks
Chapter 9
Peter Miller
In a large, airy room there is a crowd of young people and adults all working at computers. In one group students are having their first experience... Sample PDF
CTCNet, the Community Technology Movement, and the Prospects for Democracy in America
Chapter 10
Fiorella de Cindio
When the Milan and Bologna community networks were designed and launched in 1994, the goal was not simply to give access to all, but, by doing so... Sample PDF
Community Networks for Reinventing Citizenship and Democracy
Chapter 11
Susana Finquelievich
Argentina is slowly walking along the path of ICT uses for social and civic purposes. Local governments and community organisations are... Sample PDF
ICT and Local Governance: A View from the South
Chapter 12
Jo Pierson
People living together in harmonious communities is the primary goal of most modern societies. The way these communities are built depends on the... Sample PDF
Community Informatics for Electronic Democracy: Social Shaping of the Digital City in Antwerp (DMA)
Chapter 13
Danny Krouk, Bill Pitkin, Neil Richman
This verse comes from a poem read by one of the key figures in the development of the Internet at a recent symposium held to celebrate the 30th... Sample PDF
Internet-Based Neighborhood Information Systems: A Comparative Analysis
Chapter 14
Morten Falch
Telebased information community centers or just telecenters have been seen as the killer application to empower local communities in developed and... Sample PDF
Community Impact of Telebased Information Centers
Chapter 15
James Stewart
While mainstream industry and government focus on individual, home and business ownership and use of new ICTs, there is a quiet revolution going on... Sample PDF
Cafematics: The Cybercafe and the Community
Chapter 16
Andrew Turk, Kathryn Trees
This chapter discusses how community processes may be facilitated through the use of information systems (IS), developed via a highly participative... Sample PDF
Facilitating Community Processes through Culturally Appropriate Informatics: An Australian Indigenous Community Information Systems Case Study
Chapter 17
Agneta Ranerup
This text describes experiences of four on-line discussion forums that are used in a Swedish local government context. The main issue is how aspects... Sample PDF
On-Line Discussion Forums in a Swedish Local Government Context
Chapter 18
Alessandra Agostini, Valeria Giannella, Antonietta Grasso, Dave Snowdon, Michael Koch
The aim of the Campiello1 research project (Esprit Long Term Research #25572) is to promote and sustain the meeting of inhabitants and tourists in... Sample PDF
Reinforcing and Opening Communities through Innovative Technologies
Chapter 19
Rosann Webb Collins
What knowledge is required to enable individuals in community agencies to harness advanced information and communication technologies (ICTs) to... Sample PDF
Academic-Community Partnerships for Advanced Information Processing in Low Technology Support Settings
Chapter 20
Royal D. Colle
Bai Yuxiong, a farmer from a poor area in northern Shaanxi Province [of China], traveled at least 500 kilometers to Yangling Agroscience town to... Sample PDF
Communication Shops and Telecenters in Developing Nations
Chapter 21
Francois Fortier
There is a technology that was said to have the “power to disband armies, to cashier presidents, to create a whole new democratic world — democratic... Sample PDF
Virtual Communities, Real Struggles: Seeking Alternatives for Democratic Networking
Chapter 22
John Lawrence, Janice Brodman
The 1990s have been marked by extraordinary changes in many of the fundamental elements of human existence, among the most powerful, the... Sample PDF
Linking Communities to Global Policymaking: A New Electronic Window on the United Nations
Chapter 23
Roger S. Slack
This chapter outlines the development of a community information service in the Southeast of Scotland — the Craigmillar Community Information... Sample PDF
Community and Technology: Social Learning in CCIS
Chapter 24
Chris Halaska
This chapter provides a case study of the development of an Internet-based budgeting tool for the Seattle Public Schools, known as the Budget... Sample PDF
Community Participation in the Design of the Seattle Public Schools' Budget Builder Web Site
Chapter 25
Volkmar Pipek, Oliver Marker, Claus Rinner, Barbara Schmidt-Belz
Communities frequently encounter design problems they have to deal with, be it their own representation in different media (e.g., the World Wide... Sample PDF
Discussions and Decisions: Enabling Participation in Design in Geographical Communities
Chapter 26
Robin Hamman
During the 1999 war between NATO and the former Yugoslavia, an opposition radio station in Belgrade used the Internet to continue to disseminate... Sample PDF
Radio B-92 in Belgrade Harnesses the Power of a Media Activist Community During the War to Keep Broadcasting Despite Terrestrial Ban
Chapter 27
Mark Surman
It was a special moment. Non-profits were still figuring out the fax machine. No one had heard of the Internet. A few brave souls were stringing... Sample PDF
The Economics of Community Networking: Case Studies from the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
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