Leicester-based De Montfort University is connecting itself to the local community with a digital inclusion project.
The project was recently announced as a finalist in the national Tech4Good Awards 2014 in the community impact category.
IT4Free is a programme housed within the DMU Square Mile project that uses the university’s technology resources, academic knowledge, student volunteers and local employer partnerships, including:
The aim is to increase digital inclusion through teaching hundreds of people basic IT and social media skills in a community IT suits while build more suites in schools and community centres.
“The local authority had data which suggested that less than 40% of the area had access to a computer,” claimed Mark Charlton, DMU Square Mile Manager.
“Channelling our projects and opportunities through the schools is a good way to work with the community because if we can win hearts and minds at a young age, they will hopefully be inspired over time to look at different types of computer work,” he added.
Square Mile projects are delivered with the help on student volunteers, which not only benefits the community but also those who take part in making the projects successful.
“Students who come and deliver projects are getting an exceptional learning experienced,” claimed Charlton.