Clickability tracking pixel

Technology Centers to Open at 11 Miami-Dade County Parks

The county also plans to expand free Wi-Fi access to the 11 parks with technology centers and three additional parks adjacent to public libraries.

by / August 26, 2013
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez works with local youth in a technology learning center. Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade County, Fla., has launched a new program to incorporate more technology into local public parks. On August 9, the county unveiled three new technology learning centers, each located in a public park, and free Wi-Fi access in each of the three vicinities.

Over the next few months, the county will unveil an additional eight centers for a total of 11 sites. The project was developed through a public-private partnership involving multiple Miami-Dade County departments, the South Florida Digital Alliance and AT&T, according to a statement from Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez’s office.

Each location – the centers and their respective parks – will provide free Wi-Fi to the public. Wi-Fi access will also be rolled out to an additional three local parks adjacent to public libraries.

“Access to technology is the gateway to information and opportunities, and it is our responsibility to find ways to make sure that our residents have access through this gateway,” Gimenez said in a press release.

Will Tech Centers Replace Libraries?

But will the addition of technology centers and expanded Wi-Fi access in Miami-Dade parks result in library closures?

Recently, Gimenez said county budget cuts could hypothetically result in the closing of 22 libraries, a number previously reported as a “worst-case scenario.” However, after further budget analysis, officials decided only four libraries will close in order to balance the budget, according to local media.

Although the county will see reduced library service, government officials feel the newly unveiled technology centers won’t contribute to the cutbacks.

“[The technology centers] certainly will enhance but in no way replace the need for a library,” said Jack Kardys, Miami-Dade County director of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces.

Similar to libraries, the technology centers will offer access to computers, with each facility housing 10 computers for public use. Kardys said to help connect the public with county government resources, tech center computers link to the Miami-Dade Public Library System’s portal, the South Florida Digital Alliance portal and the Miami-Dade Public Schools portal. Other resources at the centers include technology training for youth and adults.

To expand beyond local parks, the county is currently in the planning phase to deploy free Wi-Fi at local marinas. Kardys said the county’s parks department has jurisdiction over marinas and wants to enhance them with Wi-Fi to make Internet connectivity more accessible to boaters.

“They are on the drawing board and as funding becomes available for that sort of thing, we will move in that direction,” Kardys said.

Sarah Rich

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. She wrote for for Government Technology magazine from 2010 through 2013.

How a Data-to-Everything Approach is Transforming Higher Education

Colleges and universities store vast amounts of data, but they generally don’t do a good job of using it. Today, amid COVID disruptions, a new blueprint for IT leaders shows how universities could make better use of data to drive student achievement.

Teaching in the COVID-19 Era: Lone Star College & Luiss University

In the blink of an eye, remote work was no longer a business convenience, it was essential.

Cisco Networking Academy is Helping Close the Cybersecurity Skills Gap

This week in #EducationNow, join one of our cybersecurity experts to learn how Cisco Networking Academy is answering the call to cybersecurity education in a rapidly evolving threat landscape.

E.REPUBLIC Platforms & Programs