The Next Connect Chicago Meetup is January 30


Please join us at our first meetup luncheon of 2015.

Erin Simpson , Public Policy Student at the University of Chicago & Civic Tech Fellow at Microsoft, will talk about her research of Connect Chicago locations.

Digital Dividends: Assessing the Use & Impact of Free Public Computer Labs in Chicago

This analysis seeks to understand the ways in which the free, public computer labs in the Connect Chicago network have impacted users and communities. By surveying more than 300 users at a cross-section of Connect Chicago locations, this research will analyze  the role that public computer centers play in urban neighborhoods and the ways in which users leverage those resources. By understanding the impacts that centers are having on users and communities, I will be able to present a preliminary evaluation of the city, state, and federal policies that have supported community-based organizations in maintaining the labs, inform the conversation about the role of the state in providing technology resources, and generate actionable policy recommendations for improving Connect Chicago locations. Secondary research questions for the project include understanding the interplay between digital and physical community-building and identifying successful strategies to promoting digital literacy.