ERIC Number: ED425008
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
NeighborhoodLink: A Community Network for Cleveland's Inner City.
Simon, Mary Ellen
This paper suggests that the Internet has great potential for educating and informing those who use it--but only if they have access to educational content that informs them in a way that meets their needs. Many community-based groups, nonprofit agencies, and institutions have volunteered to give all children and families, especially those who cannot afford it, access to the best of the Internet with content that is important, accurate, and appropriate for their needs. NeighborhoodLink is one such community network that focuses on the needs of low-income people. Because this focus is somewhat different from most community networks, the content it provides reflects that difference. The study described in this paper is a search for NeighborhoodLink's special identity as an urban community network. To improve the content of NeighborhoodLink for low-income families and children, the study looked at similarities and differences in over 20 models. LibertyNet and Charlotte's Web proved to be the two most appropriate models, providing NeighborhoodLink with ideas for local information that can be adapted and replicated, but several other models also provided information and potential links. An unexpected benefit of the study was the recognition of the accomplishments of NeighborhoodLink that are exceptional. Although all community networks require much of the same basic information and services, each network needs to find its own niche to provide relevant and important content in an organizational structure that works. (A list of the model networks examined in the study is appended.) (LPP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Families, Technology, and Education Conference (Chicago, IL, October 30-November 1, 1997); see PS 027 175.