Site Analysis


Context

Since the Decatur Family Refuge is a high-security facility with strong privacy needs, it is important that the computer lab reflects these concerns. The staff and board members have expressed a need for high-security yet easily accessible technology that will fulfill two major functions.

1. Technology that allows children to do homework, learn computer skills, play recreational an education games, and practice academic success through learning programs.
2. Technology that allows adults to learn basic computer skills, job searching skills, and social networking skills.

Specifically, we will provide

  • one staff computer,
  • four computers for family use,
  • individual computers for each family as they transition out of the program.

Resources

The Decatur Family Refuge Center has a committed staff, involved board members, and daily volunteers from the area. There are currently two staff computers and a network already in place. Computers donated by Millikin University will be refurbished for the Center’s hardware and software needs.

In our visits to the Center, we noted that the volunteers behind the staff desk were students at Millikin University, and themselves computer literate. This relationship between the the Center and Millikin University could be a positive impact on the long-term health of the computer lab and its users.

Activities and Outputs

February 24th: Our initial visit to the Refuge, we were given an overview of the space, its mission and goals.
April 3rd: In this visit, we spoke with director to determine goals of the project and determined a new configuration for the computer space. We also talked about specific programs that should be installed as well as those that should not be allowed.
April 24th: We measured the space for wiring of the computers. We have also refurbished all the computers necessary for the space, and simply need to transport them.
TBD: The final remaining steps include delivery and installation of the computers. We also need to hand over maintenance and access documentation.

Outcomes

As a transitional home, the Decatur Family Refuge Center aims to help families grow into health and self-sufficiency.

For adults, the computers provide a portal for job searching, an opportunity to grow familiar with technology under supervision, and an opportunity to increase digital literacy and therefore employability. 

For the children, the computers provide a portal for education – in both digital literacy and in traditional academic subjects through the use of learning software.

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