Boston Tech Goes Home

Summary 

Tech Goes Home (TGH), founded in 2000 by Open Air Boston (OAB), is a national award-winning initiative helping to provide under-served residents the opportunity, tools, education, and access required for 21st century skills development. With the support and backing of the city of Boston, TGH prioritizes low-income and underserved populations. 

The current TGH model was developed in 2005 at the Frederick Middle School in Boston's Grove Hall neighborhood of Dorchester. Recognizing the necessity of educating low-income urban youth using the most up-to-date and powerful technology, the Frederick team transformed the school into one of the nation’s first urban one-to-one laptop middle schools. Since 24/7 learning was a critical component of the project, and knowing that many families did not have adequate technology at home, the school worked with TGH to site a wireless tower in the neighborhood and to educate and equip families with digital literacy training and a home computer. In 2010 the city was awarded a grant to expand the “Frederick Model” on a city-wide basis in collaboration with the Boston Public Library, the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, the Boston Housing Authority, and the Timothy Smith Network. 

TGH now runs training courses in a variety of locations to help participants gain access to the skills, hardware, and access needed for 21st century success. It has courses for parents of students in Boston Public Schools, members of the broader community, small businesses that serve low-income neighborhoods, and early childhood caregivers. Upon completion, participants have the option of purchasing a new computer for $50 and TGH helps them find low-cost Internet options.

The Strategy 

City Role

The city has played a critical role in expanding the programming from its inception at Frederick Middle School to the citywide program it is today. The grant awarded to the city in 2010 helped fund and expand the nonprofit Open Air Boston’s Tech Goes Home programming.

Funding

Funding has come from grants, corporations like Google and AT&T, and philanthropic donations. 

Partners

TGH has a broad range of partners including the City of Boston, Boston Public Library, Boston Public Schools, UMASS Boston, Google, Intel, and AT&T. For a full list of Partner organizations see their website.

Outcomes

- More than 90% of survey respondents subscribe to Internet access in their homes long after program completion.

- Since 2010, more than 18,000 participants have completed TGH.

- According to impact surveys, 50% of those looking for work report one year after TGH that the course either helped them in their current job or helped them find a job.

 

Contact Information

Institute for Youth, Education, and Families

pierson@nlc.org

 

Tech Goes Home

PO Box 961379

Boston, MA 02196

(617) 635-2822

info@techgoeshome.org