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Nov. 10, 2017

Sharon Irish, project coordinator for the iSchool's Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI), has received the "Yes We Can" Education Award from the Champaign County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The award, presented at the NAACP's Freedom Fund banquet on October 20, recognizes Irish's service to the community and commitment to equity in education. 

According to Irish, this award provided an opportunity to honor and celebrate the organizations with which she has worked over the past several decades: Dream Girls Academy, Inc.; Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center; Tap In Leadership Academy; Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club;...

Mar. 14, 2017

Since 2012, Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B) has improved internet access for local homes and businesses by providing high-speed, direct connectivity through its underground fiber-optic network. A recent acquisition by a new provider, i3 Broadband, will further benefit the community through enhanced services.
UC2B has partnered with i3 Broadband, a privately owned company that will assume management of the open-access network from iTV-3, the original service provider. Based on feedback from community and UC2B board members, i3 Broadband plans to aggressively expand UC2B to include a "triple play" of gigabit internet access that includes television and telephone services. i3's goal is to open up a local storefront by summer; in the meantime, community...

Sep. 12, 2016

The iSchool is pleased to announce the appointment of Martin Wolske as interim director of the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI). Wolske assumes the position following the departure of Jon Gant, founding director, who recently accepted the deanship of the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University in Durham.

As a senior research scientist and adjunct lecturer, Wolske is well known for his excellence in teaching, research, and community service. His experience includes leadership roles in the international Community Informatics Research Network and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s Outreach and Engagement Practitioners Network. A frequently invited speaker at national and international venues, Wolske shares insights gained through advanced research in areas such as community informatics and digital literacy. His accomplishments also include service as president of the...

Feb. 8, 2016
Students at Meridian Elementary School in Mounds, Illinois learn to read data off of a sensor controller as part of a small electronics unit in their 4-H Fab Lab camp.

originally published in the Fall 2015 issue of Intersections magazine

The Chevy Suburban towing a U-Haul trailer pulled up to the decommissioned middle school in Metropolis, Illinois, population 6,000. A special kind of 4-H camp was about to begin.

The four leaders—Gabriel Ewing, Jessica Nelson, Colten Jackson, and Virginia McCreary—unloaded the equipment: almost thirty laptops with Intel i5 processors; a thirty-watt mini laser engraver; six 3-D printers; six digital embroidery sewing machines; six electronic vinyl cutters; six soldering stations; and enough small-board electronics for up to a dozen participants to make mini robots out of puff balls.

This camp is part of an exciting pilot project, Digital Innovation Leadership Program (DILP), undertaken by three groups with interlocking missions: GSLIS’s Center for Digital Inclusion...

Sep. 30, 2014
the staff of the Center for Digital Inclusion

Illinois citizens will soon have increased access to the latest digital tools and economic development opportunities. The University of Illinois Extension has awarded $300,000 to the Center for Digital Inclusion at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science as part of a new campus extension and outreach initiative. The project was one of six collaborative projects led by interdisciplinary faculty and staff from across the Urbana campus selected to further Extension’s education and outreach mission.

The Illinois Digital Innovation Leadership Program will increase opportunities for entrepreneurship, economic development, and innovation through the...

Apr. 30, 2014

The GSLIS Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) will co-host this month's Chicagoland Broadband Communities Meetup, which will address "Cook County Broadband Initiatives and Thought Leadership." Fitz Miller, director of telecommunications and network infrastructure for Cook County, will discuss Cook County broadband initiatives, and Craig Settles, a national thought leader, will join the group remotely to discuss broadband and economic development strategies from around the country.

The event will be held on Friday, May 2, from 11:00 - 1:00pm at BLUE1647 Tech & Entrepreneurship Incubator, 1647 S. Blue Island Avenue, in Chicago.

Established in 2012, CDI fosters...

Oct. 23, 2013

Representatives from the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) are slated to participate and present at the 2013 Community Informatics Research Network (CIRN) Conference. The topic of the conference, scheduled for October 28-30 in Prato, Italy, will be "Nexus, Confluence, and Difference: Community Archives Meets Community Informatics." CDI is a sponsor of the event.

CIRN is an international network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers concerned with enabling communities through the use of information and communications technologies and specifically with research and practice in community informatics and community networking.

Martin Wolske, senior research scientist at GSLIS, is a member of the programming committee for CIRN and will lead a workshop titled, "Toward a CIRN Diversity and Inclusion Statement."

"At the 2012...