Community Technology refers to non-profit private and governmental efforts at the local level to extend technology access and literacy to citizens who might not otherwise have such access. Increasingly, designers of these efforts have come to realize that they will only succeed when their projects are aware of and sensitive to the particular, varied cultural contexts in which they take place.
Technical training has minimal impact when divorced from making competent cultural connections, and utilizing local knowledge to enact participatory design deeply involving community members themselves.
A vast array of Community Technology projects can be found all over the nation, and the world. Below are links to some major national resources, and a sampling of regional projects, emphasizing the Pacific Northwest, where CulturalPolitics.net is non-virtually located, as an example (but note that similar local networks exist all over the country).
- Civic Actions Assisting community empowerment through technology.
- Community Connects Network of regional community tech projects funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and administered from Washington State University.
- Community Technology Advisors Minnesota and upper Midwest comm tech consultants.
- Community Technology Alliance California non-profit specializing on using technology to fight homelessness.
- Community Technology Centre Australia association.
- Community Technology Empowerment Project from AmeriCorps.>/li>
- Community Technology Network for San Francisco Bay Area.
- Department of Education Community Technology Center Archive of what was the prime federal government resource for community tech.
- Digital Promise DP "focuses on the needs of residents in low-income, elderly, and disabled housing communities in Washington."
- Ed Lab Group Part of the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, aimed at diversifying access to math, science and technology education
- Mukurtu Brilliantly innovative cultural archive using an indigenous people's own protocols to structure information storage and retrieval.
- NPower Seattle-based organization dedicated to providing tech training and assistance to not-for-profit organizations.
- The National Indian Telecommunications Institute Archive of an important Native-founded and run organization dedicated to using the power of electronic technologies to provide American Indian, Native Hawaiian, and Alaskan Native communities with extensive educational tools, equal opportunity and a strong voice in self-determination."
- Open Flows Community Technology Lab Canadian group dedicated to making "open source" software solutions to NGOs, and non-profits working for community empowerment and social progress.
- Seattle Tech Net Coordinates, promotes, and supports a variety of CT Centers and activities throughout the Seattle area.
- Special Technology Access Resource (STAR) The STAR of Seattle is "an all inclusive computer learning center" that provides folks, especially those with disabilities, access to computers and the Internet.
- TINCAN Spokane-based non-profit that "provides education and support for social, economic and community development for the Inland Northwest region through the use of information technology and interactive media."
- Washington Assistive Technology Foundation WATF seeks "to improve the socioeconomic circumstances of people with disabilities by providing affordable credit and learning opportunities for assistive technology.
- Zero Divide Long-standing, wide-ranging community tech promoter.