May 23, 2008 - 2:38pm
We are planning an event here at CCTV in June to ask for your input on how we might begin to use the virtual world Second Life.
In advance of our meeting, I've been doing some exploring to find out which non-profits are currently using Second Life and why?
I found this short video by Susan Denby @ TechSoup on blip.tv:
"An eye-opening two-minute video on what Second Life, the online virtual world, is all about and what nonprofits can get out of participating. Check out what TechSoup is doing to create a community of nonprofits in Second Life."
There's also a great list of "Where to find non-profits in Second Life" online at rikomatic.com.
Please join our Launching into Second Life Drupal Group here at CCTV to receive updates about the project and more about the community forum in June.
May 21, 2008 - 7:26pm
There is a terrific article from MySouthEnd.com about a recent Boston Tech Day event on May 10.
It's a great example of the possibilities that we might consider in providing technical support to participants in the digital divide project after the pilot ends in early September. Here's a bit from the article by Scott Kearnan:
"Usually, calling on technical support involves a 1-800 number and the joyless wonder of elevator music while waiting on hold.
But on May 10, over forty computer users were able to find much more convenient customer service. The first Boston Tech Day, hosted by Castle Square Tenants Organization (CSTO), provided free computer repair and training services at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology on Berkeley Street. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., nearly two-dozen volunteers sat one-on-one with computer owners. They tinkered with hardware and software alike, fixing current bugs and explaining how to prevent future ones.
The volunteers included local business owners, college programmers, and students from the Boston Public School’s TechBoston program, while the computer owners represented folks who might otherwise lack access to qualified technical support...
May 16, 2008 - 11:06am
I. Preliminary Post-Assessment Results
• Competency numbers (comfort with use of technology, etc.) are higher than pre-assessment
• 6 people out of 25 responded that they could not connect to the wireless network at Newtowne Court. But the call center has since worked with them.
• Most people felt that they received enough training, however people who had little or no training coming into the program responded that they did not receive enough training from this program (committee agreed that three trainings were not enough)
• However, a few people said they have sought extra training (e.g., at CLC) since the end of our training program.
• Most people said they would recommend the program to someone else
II. Call Center
• There have been the same two students every week running the call center, It’s been a learning experience. Students have been very responsive. Half of the calls coming into the center have been hardware related and the other half wireless/network related. Beginners (participants with less computer/Internet experience) were calling more.
• Call center students are both coming to ITD this summer
• Colin and Linda can work on setting up a new call center phone...
May 8, 2008 - 12:34pm
Wednesday May 14
This class is ideal for people who are interested in learning more about how to use the web to create and share media online. This is a one-session primer on the fastest, easiest and free-est methods of publishing text, photos, audio, and video using services like Blogger, Wordpress, Flickr, YouTube and Blip.tv. We will also discuss DIY options for hosting your own website and services.
Pre-requisite: solid mouse, keyboarding and file/window/ management skills.
Want to enroll? Email Shaun Clarke or call (617) 661-6900 x128.
(Photo above by Ben Sheldon available under a Creative Commons license)
April 30, 2008 - 3:36pm
New England Ethnic News is a project of the Center on Media & Society at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The website, Ethnic Newz.org, adds:
"We hope to bring together the following siloed elements of our region: voices from different ethnic groups and cultures; the best stories from more than 100 ethnic media of New England; teens and student journalists, teachers and coaches from UMass Boston and the local mainstream media; news consumers of all kinds; research; links to community, business and government resources; and opportunities to connect across our cultures."
The website features a number of Channels that visitors can browse including perspectives from African American, Asian, Haitian, Latino, Native American and Youth voices on issues including: Business, Education, Health, Housing, Immigration, and Politics.
Visit the Sights, Sounds and Places sections featured on the website and you can even Ask the Doctor, "NEWz’s own health reporter, Eduardo Amaral de Oliveira," about the following:
"Do you have questions you’d like to ask a doctor? Want to know about health trends and access to medical care?"
EthnicNewz is also a social network site that allows...
April 29, 2008 - 1:54pm
Here are the notes from a discussion that Aubree and I recently had about planning a public forum to discuss the possibilities of using the virtual world Second Life, here at CCTV:
Invite CCTV members and Cambridge residents to:
o Learn more about communities in Second Life
o Give input on uses of SL @ CCTV
o Ideally the event is, itself, an example of using the medium to facilitate conversation and inspire new ideas and new approaches
Presentation - June 24, 2008
Very very very basic introduction to SL
o Define avatar (what are we looking 'at'?)
o Movement (teleport/fly)
o Inventory (just so they know where stuff is coming "from")
o Lindens (as briefly as possible)
What role can SL play?
o Broadcast medium
o Production format
o Teaching & learning tool
o Meeting space
Show examples of SL communities
o Political campaigns
o Artist community
o Video/film community
o Education/NMC Campus
Political campaigns demonstrate the important role SL can play in our civic lives, spurring discussion and mobilizing volunteers, as well as having another medium in which to share candidates' message.
Artist community is good to highlight because we have video of a "...
April 25, 2008 - 3:50pm
"Do you watch video on your computer?
Do you appreciate public access programming?
There's now a "Public Access TV" version of the popular video player Miro, which comes pre-loaded with several free channels of public access programming.
Click to download:
* Windows .exe (25MB)
* Mac .dmg (20MB)
If you are already a Miro user, you can click the button below to subscribe to all the public access channels:
(The list of channels is here.)"
April 25, 2008 - 2:06pm
During the month of April, we've been administering the post-assessments to gain feedback from participants about their experience in the program. Allyson will be providing a report at our May 15 meeting on the data gathered.
The call center at RSTA has been busy. Most of the calls have been related to hardware problems, but others have been network related. The network issues have had to do with the fact that some residents may not be leaving their nodes plugged in during the day. This has impacted other residents' ability to connect to the network.
There are only a couple of people who have not been able to connect to the Internet at all. My understanding is that some people might be out of range of the main gateway. In this case, additional antennae will need to be set-up in order for those participants to receive access. I believe Ty is planning to provide more information on the status of the network at our next meeting.
All in all, the project has worked very well for most residents. Everyone has done a terrific job supporting them, particularly the students at RSTA who refurbished the computers and have been providing technical support. The event on June 2 should...
March 15, 2008 - 6:12pm
Today marked the final week of computer trainings at CCTV, as outlined in the program proposal.
8 more participants received their computers at the end of the training session today. However, many of the participants felt that more computer training would be very helpful. Particularly for those with little to no previous experience with computers and the Internet.
Therefore, I hope that at the Steering Committee meeting this week we can discuss ways to make sure that participants receive the additional trainings they need. As I'm sure others would agree, it's necessary that participants feel comfortable with their computers and confident that this program helped them get closer to achieving their stated goals.
(Photo above by Tim Plenck for CCTV available under a Creative Commons license)
March 10, 2008 - 2:49pm
The New York Times published an interesting article today, entitled "Journalism in the Hands of the Neighborhood."
The article highlights a class on citizen journalism offered by the Media Mobilizing Project and the South Philadelphia Community Center, JUNTOS, to cover local issues on housing and development (see MMP's "All For the Taking" blog).
The Times article raises the question of whether or not the term "citizen" in the phrase "citizen journalism" is an appropriate label for those practicing journalists who are not citizens or "even legal residents." MMP organizer, Todd Wolfson is quoted in the story as saying that MMP prefers the term "community journalism."
In November, 2007 University of Missouri Professors James Sterling and David Burton wrote the following about the term community journalism:
"Community journalism is the belief that newspapers have an obligation that goes beyond just telling the news or unloading lots of facts. Journalism can help empower a community or it can help disable it. In the small towns and cities of America, the local newspaper is one of the links that connects people to each other. It is one of the ways the community is maintained. It is...