The Technology Literacy Collaborative (TLC) began as a support network for Community Technology Center (or, Public Computer Center) providers and others concerned about ensuring basic technology and digital literacy skills for all. The TLC developed from the expansion of the South Minneapolis Technical Literacy Collaboration (SMTLC) established in 2006 with support from the MSNet Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation. Conveners of the original south Minneapolis group were Project for Pride in Living, Minneapolis Public Library (now Hennepin County Library), and Waite House of Pillsbury United Communities. The goal of the group was the building of a network to share information, resources, and best practices. With limited staff and high public demand for digital literacy skills, it was of benefit to network with others facing the same issues.
In 2009 a grant from the ADC Foundation helped the TLC do planning and development to create an operational structure and to confirm its vision. Through this planning process, the TLC looked at its organizational strengths and weaknesses, the benefits and dangers of success, commitment to eliminating the digital divide, serving participating organizations and benefiting those communities in need of technology access.
While the group began meeting in South Minneapolis, members now come from the Twin Cities metropolitan area and Greater Minnesota. Meetings are held in the Twin Cities – typically monthly with a core leadership team – and could be held in any location where there is a group willing to organize. Remote participation is open to all – contribute to the website and other work of the TLC!
In early 2010, TLC members created an online database to centralize curriculum, presentations, and other tools for teaching digital literacy skills, increase public awareness, and promote digital inclusion. TLC invites contributions to the database from everyone, everywhere. Let’s build a central repository of materials!