Your New Year's Resolution may be to find work, or to learn how to navigate the social sphere....but for many of us, online access is not easily available. You may have even seen some intriguing signs at bus and train stations encouraging you to "Connect Chicago"
Quite honestly, this is one of the best tech-oriented services that is available in the city of Chicago.
We Connect Chicago is the brainchild of the Smart Chicago Collaborative, an organization that is working to drive digital excellence and literacy across all of our diverse neighborhoods. They announced the service back in November, focusing on a web site that lists places where free computers are available, but also provide information about training to use computers.
And all of these services are provided....for free.
In all honesty, We Connect Chicago lists most places you would suspect would have free computers - Community Tech Centers (CTCs), public libraries, and other resources. Smart Chicago Collaborative is also working on some higher-end initiatives like Open 311 and other projects that...well, may not be of interest to the average person. But with contemporary culture - especially workforce development and social networking - increasingly moving to an online realm, and with an increasingly unsure economic climate, access to technology is no longer simply a privilege - it is becoming an essential tool for survival, and We Connect Chicago is a great first step towards making sure that tool is available for everyone.
At the very least, there is some good news to report as 2013 begins....
And as always, thanks for reading - and Happy New Year!