Virginia Holds Second Technology Symposium

Virginia technology secretary Donald Upson and health and human services secretary Claude Allen on Tuesday hosted "Technology as a Tool to Empower Individuals and Communities," the second of four citizen advisory symposiums designed to help bridge the "digital divide" between those with and without access to technology.

The symposium, featuring a panel made up of people who are fighting to bring technology to those without access to it, was held at the Gum Springs Community Center in Alexandria, one of the pilot sites for the national PowerUP initiative designed to help underprivileged children gain access to technology.

"The governor's budget includes a lot of money for at-risk, neglected and uninformed [groups] because we feel that there's a [technological] revolution going on, and if we get everybody in, everybody wins," Upson said. "We need to connect community leaders and are trying to do it all over the state — and it has to work both ways."

In addition to representatives from the Gum Springs center and PowerUP, members of the audience also heard about the efforts of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, which helped establish Gum Springs; brief presentations on the technology advancements for visually impaired, disabled, and senior citizens and technology; and a local student's perspective on educational technology.

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