Sunday, January 17, 2010

Free Geek Columbus Provides Technology Education


You might not know it by looking at the Summit United Methodist Church on East 16th near OSU, but in its basement radicals conspire to learn open-source software, as they help bridge the digital divide and reduce the stream of toxic e-waste.
Not far from the frat houses and student pads is Weinland Park to the south. To the east and north are other low-income neighborhoods. Members of those communities make up the bulk of Free Geek Columbus clients.
Somewhat similar to Habitat for Humanity’s ‘sweat equity’ approach, people who accumulate 20 hours of work — testing, taking apart, and rebuilding donated equipment — are eligible for a free computer, monitor, and printer. But some of them keep coming back well after that.
“A lot of volunteers come in to learn more sophisticated computer skills that they then can go apply at a job or use on their own… we have high-school students right now, trying to get a leg up, jumping into the college computer game,” said Kirk Kimmel, a Free Geek Columbus board member.
click here for the rest of the story..


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