In 2012, the New York City Housing Authority begin rolling out their Digital Vans. Funded by the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant the vans serve as Wifi hotspots and provide free internet access through on board laptops and printing services to residents of NYC’s housing projects. This project provided internet access through Verizon’s 4G network and serves as proof that the concept of a MMC is feasible technologically.
A mobile broadband program in Indonesia, sponsored by a Global Broadband Innovations Program grant, is being tested by using vans connected to broadband internet through a satellite connection. This will give rural areas broadband access and access to laptops, since only 10% of Indonesians only have internet access and only 4% have access to broadband. This is an example of the possibility of high speed internet connectivity in a variety of geographic locations to serve a much needed user demographic.
A survey of Digital Media Labs (DML) in one academic and four public libraries that describes the types of technology they provide and their funding sources. It also includes how each institute educated their staff and patrons on the many uses of the DML. The MMC would provide a spatially condensed version of the services offered by these other DMLs.
OSS Watch provides informative resources for all aspects of OSS and Open Source Hardware. OSS watch provides an extensive list of useful educational OSS and their proprietary counterparts. These resources can help students and librarians working with the MMC on finding new and useful OSS projects to explore as well as inspiration for students to start their own list of projects that they use and support.
Recently the National Institute of Health awarded researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell a grant to work in Boston’s Chinatown on educating residents about the dangers of air pollution. As the Chinatown neighborhood is close to major highways, they suffer from poor air quality, but many of it’s residents are unaware of the dangers and how they can protect themselves. Researchers are using the open data visualization tool Weave to produce an interactive teaching tool, focusing on educating local teens about the issues with air pollution in hopes that they will go home and spread this knowledge to their family members who might not have the technological access or English language skills to educate themselves on these issues.
Allison Macrina, an IT librarian for the Watertown Free Public Library, is working to educate patrons about issues of digital privacy and how to ensure privacy while online. She has installed the Tor browser on their computers, in addition to privacy extensions for Firefox, and instructs patrons about these issues by hosting workshops. These privacy issues are paramount for teens who are now born into the digital world and teaching these issues in high school will greatly benefit students before they go to college or enter the workforce.
66 years after George Orwell published 1984, the DC Public Library hosted a series of movie screenings, workshops and panel discussions titled Orwellian America? Government Transparency and Personal Privacy in the Digital Age. They hoped to inform the public about issues surrounding online privacy especially relating to government spying. These are issues that are of utmost importance to teach all Americans and the MMC is a great opportunity to in form high schoolers about these issues.