Smart Chicago has three primary areas of focus under which we organize all of our work: Access to the Internet & technology, Skills to use technology once you've got access, and Data, which we construe as something meaningful to look at once you have access and skills.
Access to technology and the internet
Our work in access spans all areas of work. At the center is Connect Chicago, a program that came out of the Public Computer Centers grant that we helped the City of Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology to complete under award No. 17-42-B10553 of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. The CUTGroup is another important part of our access work, as all of our tests are conducted in libraries, a primary tech access point for many residents. Smart Health Centers are another critical component, as we've helped create and support dozens of new public computer centers.
Digital skills for all
Programs in skills area include Connect Chicago, where we created and maintain a digital training library and convene meetups of practitioners to trade ideas. Our #CivicSummer program is where we team up with partners to teach teens civics, media, and technology. Chicago School of Data is where we work with nonprofits and institutions to improve their skills with data and technology. Our work with the Hive Learning Network allows us to do deep-dives with great partners on expanding the use of tech in their own places.
Meaningful products from data
We create products that perform simple functions, like Foodborne Chicago, where we connect people who complain about food poisoning on Twitter to local health officials. We also develop & maintain websites like Chicago Early Learning, which is used by parents to lookup available programs, and Connect Chicago, which serves a similar purpose for public computer centers. Our Chicago Health Atlas is a place where you can view citywide information about health trends and take action near you to improve your own health.