Another Ann Arbor
Another Ann Arbor, Inc. is a Michigan nonprofit whose mission is to
promote the history, culture and concerns of African Americans in the
local community. There are two purposes of this collaboratory. One is
to increase the Internet usage and computer skills of African American
youth in Washtenaw County. The other is to create a website that
promotes the goals and mission of Another Ann Arbor by providing a means
of communication and information for the African American community.
Through the African American Saturday Academy, students from the UM School
of Information are teaching youth ages 8-13 web design, group collaboration
and cooperation, basic computer skills and encouraging exploration of
technology careers. The students will focus on preserving and presenting
oral histories using the World Wide Web. Their final project will be an
interactive website that uses audio, video and text to present the oral
histories of local African Americans.
The development of the anotherannarbor.org website establishes a means
of communication within the African American community where matters of
particular interest are addressed, where information is shared, and use
of the Internet becomes a priority. anotherannarbor.org will be a resource
focusing on issues such as intercultural programs, economic concerns,
and healthful lifestyles for individuals, organizations, youth, and seniors.
In short, Another Ann Arbor improves:
- Technology access for low and moderate income youth and children of African descent.
- Public access to the history of African Americans in Washtenaw County.
- The representation of persons of African descent and related programs and services on the Internet.
Sample of past work:
- In the fall of 2003 the Another Ann Arbor collaboratory developed a weekend computer course that can be used with an ever changing cohort of young people and multiple curricula for students at the middle school and high school levels. The course currently provides general technology education and instructional curricula in Computer Basics, Introduction to Internet Use, and Introduction to Web Page Creation, using the teaching modules developed by EZLink.
- Two hundred eighty-two youth in grades 4 through 12 have been involved in all of Another Ann Arbor's programs since Global Program on Youth began supporting it. These children and youth have participated in workshops and after-school activities and have learned how to develop Web sites, displays, books, documents, posters, and digital images. The children and youth have learned skills that help them complete homework assignments and navigate the Internet more efficiently. The number of students at each workshop has been increasing and the rate of return of students to Another Ann Arbor programs is 100%.
- Students were taken on a field trip to Digital Ops, a multi-Player gaming facility with the newest hardware, software, and games. The manger talked with the students about how the business was started and about the types of technology and skills necessary to be successful in this day and age. The students could examine servers, networking hardware, and how the system works. Students asked many questions and expressed their enthusiasm for the trip. They were able to see computers and technology used in "a really cool way."
- The weekend computer course worked created a digital history of public school desegregation in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, they reflected the University of Michigan 2004 Martin Luther King theme of Brown versus the Board of Education: 50 Years Later. This focus on project-not technology for technology's sake-has allowed the creation of a useful model and approach for the upcoming fall and winter term courses. Support staff, students, and volunteers are working to implement this strategy at other community locations.
- Developed a tagline and a logo that makes it possible to brand programs and activities.
- Another Ann Arbor has provided approximately 45,000 hours of computer-based training to children and youth since its inception.
- Another Ann Arbor has mobilized 50 volunteers who provide more than 1,000 hours of service per year.
- During the summer and fall of 2003, the Center for Urban Innovation completed a comprehensive business and development plan for Another Ann Arbor. Students and staff of this collaboratory are working to further develop and implement this plan.
- Establish a field placement or practicum site for macro-practice students of social work. The focus of the field placement site would be technology in the service of community development.
- Replicate the same types of policy initiatives in Washtenaw County that have been implemented through EZLink's policy documents calling for wireless provision of high speed broadband internet in Detroit and Wayne County. Another Ann Arbor plans to use these successes as a template for its own policy and community development initiatives.
- Follow through with the fundraising plan for this collaboratory in collaboration with EZLink and the Development Department of the University of Michigan School of Social Work.
- Develop firm volunteer relationships with University of Michigan graduate students through SCOR (Students of Color of Rackham).
- Work with Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti public schools to designate Another Ann Arbor computer learning sites as service learning opportunities for high school students.
- Continue the Grasshopper Summer Technology Camps for Girls as part of the WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) program at the University of Michigan.
- Convert all of its technology programs to open source software (Linux, mySQL, and myPHP). This shift will reduce the cost of technology maintenance and give the collaboratory's technological resources greater resistance to virus attacks. The collaboratory will rely less on expensive operating systems and applications that require expensive annual license renewals and upgrades. Knowledgeable University of Michigan students who are competent in the use of open source software have been very helpful in this transition. The collaboratory is examining the purchase of a local Linux based server to reduce storage and maintenance costs.