Imani Carr/Community Ambassador at Salt and Light in north Champaign

Community ambassador reviews our reliance on technology

By Imani Carr/For CU-CitizenAccess.org

CU-CitizenAccess worked with faculty from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science to secure a grant from the state that offers skills training to help participants secure jobs. The money was used to place community ambassadors in public computer labs to offer computer literacy training and workshops to underserved populations from the Urbana Free Library, Salt and Light Food Pantry and Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park as well as a public computer lab in East St. Louis. 

We’ve asked our local community ambassadors to blog about their experiences. Technology is a grand thing! Would you agree? With it we have automobiles, lights, printers, televisions, telephones, cell phones, hand-held game systems, Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, iPads, iPods, MP3 players, CD players, VCRs, DVD players, Blue Ray DVD players. Does anyone remember the Boombox?  What about the turntable? What about the gramophone?  8-Track?  Radio?  Cassette players?  Hey, I still have cassettes at home, vinyl records, and VHS tapes. Can anyone out there relate? In all that, I still know how to write a check, write and mail a letter, add, subtract, multiply, and divide without the use of a calculator, find directions without a GPS, and find a phone number without dialing 411 or using the Internet. How many in this generation can say the same thing?

Congressional hearing highlights challenges accessing broadband service

By Jim Meadows/Illinois Public Media — People who live in a city may take broadband Internet service for granted. But in many rural areas, broadband service is hard or even impossible to obtain. The issue of broadband access was the spotlight of a recent congressional field hearing in Springfield. (Listen to the audio story here) 
As an employee for eGrain, which specializes in electronic documents for agribusiness, Drew Earles understands the importance of a good internet connection. But he said that’s not what he gets at his home in the central Illinois countryside, where he relies on a wireless transmitter mounted on the grain elevator in nearby Mechanicsburg.