So many of us think about the Internet as consumers—and there are great possibilities in that, from jobseekers applying for positions online to schoolchildren accessing coursework online. But to truly bridge the digital divide, we need to go a step further. We have to ensure that our residents have the skills and tools to harness that technology and become producers. There’s more to the World Wide Web than browsing social media and playing interactive games.
And that’s what brought me Saturday to the Barack Obama Computer Center in Park Hill. Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the generosity of the Mozilla Foundation, I hosted an event at the Empowerment Zone that introduced Staten Islanders to a world of digital opportunities. We had several learning stations, each guided by experienced facilitators. Participants had the opportunity to modify source code on Web pages, design their own animation and even compose music.
My hope is that everyone who attended learned something new and will follow up and pursue new possibilities and opportunities.