Connect Chicago Benchmark: Bilingual Digital Education

As part of our effort to “Establish a smart community benchmark and toolkit for broadband access and use”, Smart Chicago is highlighting useful tools that teach digital skills.  One of our benchmarks is the work being done by the Association House of Chicago. 

Association House

Since 1899, Association House has worked with Chicagoans who seek tools to lead more productive lives. It is one of the oldest “settlement houses” in Chicago originally designed to provide relief and guidance to new immigrants. Today, Association House is a vital resource to under-served, multicultural communities, providing collaborative programs in English and Spanish.

Association House

Basic Computer Education Class at Association House

One of their programs is their technology training classes, which they offer in both English and Spanish. Association House not only teaches basic literacy courses, but classes on using Microsoft Office and Google Drive. The Association House teaches both Office and Drive as one single course so students can learn and understand both platforms.

They break down the class into three main components: word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs. The class also covers things like email formatting and writing a resume. Here’s a copy of the syllabus they use.

To get a little more detail in their work, here’s Association House staff describing their program at a recent Connect Chicago meetup.

The Association House also operates as a public computer center  with 27 computers available to the public.  Residents can get help with resumes, cover letters, or homework.

Association House

Computer Lab at Association House

The work of the Association House of Chicago is immensely important because they are providing digital skills in the neighborhoods in two languages with special attention given to providing residents with job skills.

To learn more about the Association House, you can visit their website at

All video and interviews conducted by Christopher Whitaker.