Mobile computer lab hitting streets of Philadelphia

Philadelphia dignitaries were on hand for the ribbon cutting of a mobile computer lab, called NOMAD. The roving van is part of a program to expand access to computers and the internet around the city.  It’s the latest of 77 efforts to offer more computer access around Philadelphia.

“People can’t live any more if they’re not engaged with the technology,” said Bob Nelson, head of the non-profit Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, which will be NOMAD’s home base.  “It’s amazing, even to me at this age where you press buttons and the world opens up.”

He says access to a computer is essential for his clients’ educational achievement, from doing homework to preparing for the GED exam.”

The new computers will supplement the technology available at OIC. The van will also make stops at schools, churches and other community centers to help expand digital access.

Shamia Farrell is very excited to start teaching technology classes here at the center. “Everything that’s going on, it’s going straight to the computers,” said Farrell. “So if you don’t have any type of computer literacy, you’re going to be like oh, god i’m going crazy.”Seventy “keyspots” have been installed around the city, funded through federal stimulus programs.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

50% of WHYY’s funding comes from donations made by people just like you.