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Public Computing Resource Center

Curriculum, Internet use policies, and more for nonprofits and public libraries with computer labs or computing classes

Public Computing Resource Center 
Elliot Harmon and Sarah Washburn - April 12, 2012
We've assembled some of the key technology products and resources for public computing, including Internet use policies and multipoint computing resources.

A sound IT infrastructure is essential to any public computing project. These resources will help you get started. If you have a tool in mind that we haven't listed, please tell us how you use it, and we'll spread the word.

Donated Products Through TechSoup Global

Through TechSoup Global, you can request donated brand new software and hardware for your eligible organization at savings of 80-90 percent. Check out the donation programs your U.S.-based nonprofit or library may be eligible for through TechSoup's agreements with companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, and Intuit. TechSoup carries over 500 products — too many to list below. We've intentionally omitted popular productivity software (like Microsoft Office and others) in order to focus on the titles most relevant to deploying training programs.

If you need software or hardware donations for multiple or affiliated organizations in your network (for example, the YMCA or a large library system), you may be able to get help requesting large orders through TechSoup.

Product Solutions for Trainers

  • Online conferencing: GoToMeeting and GoToWebinar from Citrix Online
  • Audio and web conferencing: ReadyTalk
  • Hosted wikis: Wikispaces
  • The Learning Institute certificate coursework: SNPO

Product Solutions for Participants

  • Keyboard typing instruction: Bytes of Learning
  • Quicken bundles for instructional use: Intuit Client Education and Support Program

Product Solutions for Hiring

Product Solutions for Computer Labs

Product Solutions for Project Management

Resources for Purchasing Technology

Technology Specs

Any organization that's outfitting a computer lab or a library needs to create specifications for the technology they purchase and deploy. We asked BTOP grantees to share their thoughts and their specs so you could learn from the hard work they've already done.

Internet Use Policies

We asked folks who work in public computing to share what goes into an Internet use policy. A few sent us their own policies to use as examples, below.

Image: Work Place, Shutterstock