Colleges apply tech creatively

Universities play role in revitalizing neighborhoods through innovative technology programs

Seedco

More and more, universities are playing a larger role in revitalizing distressed

neighborhoods through innovative technology programs, according to a new

report by a nonprofit community development group.

The report released Nov. 12 — "Opening the Door: Technology and the

Development of University-Community Partnerships" — follows up a survey

conducted earlier this year by the Structured Employment Economic Development

Corp., or Seedco. That survey found that few community development groups

use information technology innovatively, but when they did, it was through

university partnerships.

"And that survey found that the most useful way to implement technological

strategy was with an institution or college, which led us to do these case

studies," said William Grinker, Seedco's president. Grinker refers to the

current report's in-depth profiles of programs sponsored by six universities:

the University of California-Los Angeles, the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology, the University of Memphis, the University of Pennsylvania, Howard

University and Yale University.

Such relationships, he said, are "gathering steam mostly over the last

three or four years, encouraged by the federal government's interest in

implementing technological approaches to data gathering and programming

activities."

For example, he pointed to programs at the departments of Commerce,

Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development that encourage

the use of technology in improving economically deprived communities.

Despite a historically "high degree of tension" between universities

and distressed communities, the report doesn't provide any statistical measures

of such relationships, although Grinker said it is a "reasonably widespread

effort."

In some cases, universities have had a long relationship with their

communities, making it easier to implement such technology programs. "In

other cases, the university tends to initially provide education-related

services to school systems and then the community might come in later because

of the relation already there with the school system," he said. The report

indicated that universities serve a variety or combination or roles:

* Consultants to provide expertise and training.

* Catalysts to conceptualize, design and implement an initiative.

* Application service providers to host technology tools such as online

mapping tools or community information portals.

Grinker said the case studies show a "good deal of creativity" in using

technology.

"Most of the standard relationships talk about GIS mapping as a way

to provide resources to the community, and that's fairly standard at this

point," he said. "What I found interesting about these case studies was

the institutions moved beyond that and doing more innovative kinds of technology

programs."

For example, a Howard University project uses AmeriCorps volunteers

to integrate technology into community revitalization projects. UCLA is

collecting property-, tax- and disability-related data as well as providing

training and consulting services so community groups can use such information.

In Memphis, the university is a full participant in the city's planning

process, including workforce development, transportation, public safety

and social services issues.

"We see this as a very valuable way to enhance resources in these communities

and to use it as a way to also target resources more effectively in terms

of outcomes," Grinker said. "So we think this is an important area to build

on and sufficient examples at this point to perhaps consider a more national

effort."

NEXT STORY: Budget holdup taking its toll

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.