Greenberg Oaks: Helping to Close the Digital Divide (by James Toombs, Arthur Truong, Jonathan Riquelme, and Anthony Yuzko)


Picture Taken from CPAH Website

Picture Taken from CPAH Website

Greenberg Oaks, an apartment complex connected to CPAH, or the Community Partners for Affordable Housing Computer Center, is located in Tigard OR. In 2006, Greenberg Oaks received a budget of over 2.5 million dollars to help renovate and encourage people to move in. Modernization of housing, walls, windows and outdoor fixtures were amongst some of the changes that took place for this four building apartment complex. One of these changes was in the Greenberg Oaks Computer Center, designed and intended to provide internet and technology to the residents, allowing them access to digital tools for learning. Recently through PSU, the focus of a senior capstone project carried out by four students was in renovation and remodeling of the computer center, which had deteriorated due to computer viruses, misuse, and lacked certain necessities in order to function.

A snapshot of the computer lab before the renovation.

A snapshot of the computer lab before the renovation.

By reaching out to the community and some local partners such as the St. Helens Computer Repair Center, the Capstone students were able to secure all sorts of different materials and supplies in order to restore the computer center back to up to speed including keyboards and mice and paints and other trimmings. Some of the difficulties that these students faced were in accessing the community, being able to access the computer center while juggling school and work and finally, being able to sit down and put in the hours and effort to renovate a room into a learning environment. Being able to accomplish such a feat as a project will, the students hope, is able to provide support for children who might not have access technology due to socioeconomic circumstances.

A fresh coat of supplies can really do wonders for a room.

A fresh coat of supplies can really do wonders for a room.

The Digital Divide is defined as an economic and social inequality that reflects not only having access and using technology, but also by being technologically literate and understanding digital information. Being digital literate and understanding technology as a medium in which we can communicate is amongst other factors when talking about inequity. Just as a child might be less empowered by knowing how to do fractions, a child may be falling behind other students but not knowing how to type correctly or make a computer presentation. One of the goals for renovation of the computer center is to allow access for students to use technology, to ensure that this gap gets a bit smaller and to use technology to benefit and help those who may need it.

Some of the children of Greenberg Oaks, after a “hard” day of work in the community garden.

Some of the children of Greenberg Oaks, after a “hard” day of work in the community garden.

Looking forward, the use of the Greenberg Computer Center, as well as the routine maintenance and cleaning is being monitored and checked to make sure quality as well of ease of access is available to all students. The team hopes that this Capstone project carries a big impact for the children of Greenberg Oaks. Below is a video taken by James Toombs, the leader of the Capstone students who worked on this project, documenting screenshots of the progress these students have made.

Click HERE for the video.

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One thought on “Greenberg Oaks: Helping to Close the Digital Divide (by James Toombs, Arthur Truong, Jonathan Riquelme, and Anthony Yuzko)

  1. I am excited that we now have a space that is inspiring and appropriate for the many teens who live onsite. Looking forward to the launch of the teen program!

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