Mesh/UserResearch/24 Jan 2013

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Digital Divide First Meeting - 24 Jan 2013 (copy structure for each new meeting to top of doc)

Intros (5 min):

  • Max, Danette, Marina, Tonya, Jenny, Larry, Tama, Tony, Dennis


  • Welcome
  • Review of work completed so far
  • General News & Updates
  • Review of OpenOakland suggested projects
  • Discussion of focus and brainstorm other projects
  • Next Steps
  • Management

A. Review of work completed so far:

The idea for this group formed from the Digital Divide session at the December 2012 City Camp. Participants in the session (and others) have been posting notes, thoughts, articles, links, and resources relating to the digital divide in Oakland to Oakland Wiki:

B. General News & Updates (5 min)

  • We’ve been working on the Digital Divide entry on Oakland Wiki.
  • Outreach to different Organizations: BESSA, Black Girls Code, Soul of the City

C. Review of Open Oakland Previously Suggested Projects: (15 min)

1. OpenOakland Outreach/App Education

  • Educate the Community about OpenOakland and the Apps already developed.
  • Are the apps accessible, useful, and training on how to use them?
  • Angela Woodall offered to do trainings on the apps at Tribune
  • Involve youth in developing the apps.
  • Part of the problem with outreach is that letting everyone know that Libraries have open access computers. (there are issues with Libraries- limited time, etc)

2. Support City of Oakland on Outreach and Engagement on City Online Resources.

Work with Libraries and Community Centers to hold workshops

3. Tech Civic Participation and Advocacy Trainings

Educate community on how to use Social Media technology for Civic Participation

4. Work with OpenOakland Pledge to get Council to be Digitally Accountable to Constituents

D. Discussion and brainstorm of focus and projects.

Group Goal & New Project Exploration (30 min)

What are the goals of this group? What are the key areas where this group would want to make an intervention?

Existing Challenges (mostly from the City Camp Session Notes):

  • Physical barriers to access: limited (or no) access to computers, limited (or no) access to internet
  • Educate about resources available like Libraries. Donate your smart-phone library.(we can load it with apps etc.). Oakland Technology Exchange West..would be a great group to work with, could use a website upgrade.
  • Linking philanthropic companies to community. VMWare (give away computers), Google.
  • What are other centers that we can set-up computers. Like Churches, or community centers.
  • Swap meet. Underground computer industry. Refurbishing computers. Identify the ones in Oakland. --Definitely do this and update Wiki.
  • If there was a poster that we can design and put up and educate the community.
  • What space can this group fill in the ecosystem. Set-up just an Oakland Digital Divide Collaboration. Even if we are the central hub of all of the Digital Divide resources.
  • Details of models that already that works.
  • City Camp specifically targeting low-income. Teach them about adaptive technology. Teach a practical skill. Completing online applications for jobs.
  • Non-profit. School as possible Fiscal Sponsor. Skype him into a meeting. Movement Strategy Center.
  • Connect with private security that have hearts.
  • BACS is downstairs. That give jobs for disabilities and seniors. A partnership.
  • Alliance Building is Key.
  • Veterans as part of the digital divide. Do they have programs to give them access to technology. VRAP program that the obama admin implemented. Apply for a 1 yr program...and they give them $1500 to go.
  • There are a lot of technology programs that don’t provide good service (train them and then don’t provide jobs. Get graduates hooked up with people in tech, and they can network.).
  • LIST. How do we get information about the org.
  • Create a list of services we can provide when we go to the organization.
  • Disempowerment: Not feeling entitled to interact with technology, enter tech spaces, go to tech events, learn tech. (applies equally to government spaces/events)
  • Difference between using tech as a consumer vs as a programmer/contributor
  • Education: barriers to technical education
  • Organizing & collaboration: poor coordination between different groups/individuals working on digital divide issues
  • Mistrust
    • Mistrust of "community pimps" - nonprofits and programs that come
    • Mistrust of government and educational system

Areas of opportunity:

  • Many (youth especially) have access to smartphones.
  • Oakland Public Library is eager to work in this area
  • Libraries have limitations and no one you can ask for help
  • Existing community computer centers ++
  • Silicon Valley - ex: VMWare has a foundation
  • Where can we physically locate computer centers? Ex: churches
  • Raspberry pi - cheap and hackable and you can write video games on them
  • donate your smartphone library. check out a phone loaded with ebooks.
  • in portland, freegeek
  • swapmeets take 5 old laptops, take em apart, and put together one new laptop and sell them. this is an industry for undocumented people to participate. ++
  • if there are any ideas here be a poster, what would the poster say? ++
  • field trip to oakland tech exchange west ++
  • what are programs that work, case studies, etc.
  • city camp targeted towards people from low-income communities. frame it in a civic way. have a lottery where people get computers. lots of small events? need people to help you. incorporate adaptive tech (ex, spoken word instructions, etc.) <= Larry
  • what is the follow-up
  • barrier: applying to jobs online. each company has a different standard.
  • uptown ambassador program as people who speak directly with people in need.
  • BACS bay area community services
  • veterans associations
  • community colleges
  • many nonprofits in the area of training do not provide the best services
  • how do we get graduates of A+ certification connected into industry networks, ex, bring em to sudo room
  • directory of tech meetups, map of free tech events

Areas of interest:

  • poll of existing groups - what are they doing, what are their needs, etc. what network are you in? how do you do outreach, how do you build alliances? what are their resources and their needs
  • what services can we offer - project management, coding, teaching, PR,
  • interview people who work in these areas and what they do, take photos, etc. do a tour.
  • "where are places that digital tech stuff happens" points where citizens can access technology.
  • building networks

E. Next Steps:

After brainstorming ideas we still weren’t sure which one the group would focus on. However we agreed that each of us will reach/research one group that is on the Digital Divide page and find out...

  • 1. More information about what service they provide to the community.
  • 2. What can we do to help them in their work?
  • 3. Would they be interested in being a part of this Digital Divide Group?
  • (Q: When talking with these groups, how do we describe the benefit of joining the group?)

We also go on Field Trips to visit Oakland Resources. First trip will be to Oakland Technology Exchange West. Max volunteered to organize the Field Trip.

F. Management: Marina and Tonya - co-coordinators (5 mins)

  • Meeting structure/schedule
  • How frequently would this group like to meet?
  • Communication options
    • Would a listserv work for everyone?
      • yes, can we put people’s skillsets on it?
  • Volunteers to take on certain duties?
    • Jenny: Admin Assistance (email reminders, meeting set-up, taking notes)
    • Tony: Outreach to the community
  • Field trips. Go as a group.

G. Next scheduled meetings:

  • We decided to meet bi-weekly, alternating Tuesdays at City Hall and Thursdays at Sudo Room:
  • Thursday, February 7th at Sudo Room
  • Tuesday, February 19th at City Hall