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Smart Community Tech Trainings

A few hours of training with an accomplished teacher can open up a lifetime of opportunities. If you want to find out how to do something in today’s world, search around on the Internet. But how do you learn how to use the Internet? In Chicago’s low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, many residents don’t have the knowledge or confidence to go online. And for those who do, it can still be daunting to start banking or pay a parking ticket online. 

Smart Community trainings can help any local resident get online—even those who start by learning how to use a mouse—and then build the skills needed to be a comfortable and regular Internet user. The classes are all free and tailored for maximum effectiveness: Some are built for a particular audience, from parents of teenagers to community leaders, and others drill down to a specific topic, like using office software.

Hands-on and step-by-step

All Smart Communities courses are taught by local trainers using a curriculum created with the neighborhoods in mind. Each training goes step-by-step through the information in a hands-on computer lab in the community. The classes: 

  • Everyday Digital: This ten-chapter course to introduce users to the Internet is split between five basic two-hour sessions and another five electives, covering everything from what is a browser to how social media works.
  • Civic 2.0: For community leaders like block club presidents, this course shows how to go online to find vital information such as voter statistics, local school report cards and police data, as well as how to use the Internet to organize and advocate for the community.  
  • Common Sense Media: Part of the Smart Communities Digital Youth Summer Jobs program, the Common Sense Media trainings help high-school students and their parents get up to speed on digital culture.
  • Other Trainings: Smart Communities Business Resource Centers offer trainings and technology assessments for local business owners, and the five community portals offer trainings on how to contribute articles, calendar events and other content.

Incentives for use

Several of the trainings offer participants a notebook computer once they’ve completed a designated set of classes—in total nearly 1,300 computers will be distributed. More than 1,000 local leaders are expected to take Civic 2.0 trainings and more than 1,300 Smart Community residents will take Everyday Digital courses.

To learn more about trainings, contact LISC/Chicago. Or to learn more about the curriculum or schedule in a neighborhood, please contact the Smart Communities Tech Organizer for the community.

Auburn Gresham
Chicago Lawn
Humboldt Park

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