Web Boat Town of Clermont
Columbia County

1795 Route 9
Clermont, NY 12526
(518) 537-6868
info at clermontny.org

Community Computing Lab

The Lab will be closed until further notice.

The Clermont Community Computing Lab opened in the Clermont Academy on Thursday, 12/16.

See Register Star, Wednesday, December 22nd
See Valstar Connections, Feburary 2005

Clermont Town Board Members and other interested community members received free training in Computer Literacy, Email, and other productivity software, thanks to donations from Valstar, Lille Corp, Taconic Hills High School, Germantown High School, and training from the Tech Scouts students of Bram Moreinis, Clermont Town Webmaster.

In Spring, 2005, the lab was staffed from 5:00 - 7:00 every Thursday (except public school vacations), with classes running from 5:30 to 6:30. Instruction was geared towards using computers to conduct Town business and farm management, and included the creation of email accounts for all Town officials though Valstar's grant, spreadsheets for accounting and planning, databases for tracking, equipment inventory and maintenance schedules, and the Internet networking, weather forecasting, price researching, and equipment repair / replacement. In addition to learning software in functional contexts, participating farmers used the web to research prices and support their work.

"Tech Scouts" are high school students from Taconic Hills and Germantown High Schools. The Clermont Lab runs Linux (an "Open Source" software platform that is free, but requires skilled help to set up) and uses surplussed computers too old to employ as district stations, but quite ample for Linux. The "Open Office" Linux applications suite closely mirrors the interface of Microsoft Office. This pilot project can serve as a model for other communities to follow, where older computers can be set up to run free software by enterprising students.

Valstar, which has already donated web space and email accounts to the town, provided DSL access for this project, creating a space where community members can access the Internet and obtain training in computer applications. Lille Corp, a Linux corporation in Albany, has donated technical support and a "server" computer to support the lab, which can be starting point for students like Town Board Member Ray Tousey who has decided to turn an old, slow computer into a powerful, functioning tool with Linux, with the Tech Scouts' help.

BACKGROUND: The Tech Scouts

Tech Scouts are student teams who develop computer-related and workforce preparation skills in service to the school community. Tech scouts

"Tech Scouts" are high-tech (but not necessarily high-performing) students who benefit from connections to other students in other schools, IT companies, higher education institutions, and service coordination to develop and apply computer technology skills to work on authentic projects for real environments.

Through interagency relationships and shared telecommunications infrastructure (including videoconferencing), students work with state-of-the-art applications in IT workplaces, and obtain specialized training through distance learning courses informed by current IT workplace needs (such as LINUX support). Through these and other experiences, students build connections to regional schools of higher education and leading IT companies, and begin their careers through these relationships.

For more information, visit http://www.cousinit.org/tscouts