“DiscoTech” is short for “Discovering Technology”. Originally designed by the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, DiscoTechs are a replicable model for learning and teaching community technology. They are often community events which feature interactive, multimedia workshops designed to demystify, engage, and inform the community about issues of Internet use and ownership, and our communications rights on and offline. While tech bootcamps and hacker spaces may not always be accessible our communities, DiscoTechs are spaces that prioritize intergenerational relationships, local knowledge, and joy.
This last month, CTNY co-designed two DiscoTechs with The POINT CDC in the Bronx and El Puente in Brooklyn. These events allowed us to speak directly with community members about their digital concerns and learn more about how they use technology in daily life.
At El Puente’s ¡WEPA! festival, we set up multiple activity stations to share knowledge on network building, cabling, and internet safety, and spoke to participants about which access issues they find most important.
For more materials on the history of DiscoTechs and how to plan your own, check out the original “How to DiscoTech” zine from the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition.
“DiscoTechs have the potential to provide a positive and hopeful experience for youth and seniors, creating a platform where we can teach and learn with each other in ways that allow us to investigate ourselves and our communities. This creates pathways toward solving problems collectively rather than waiting for others to solve them.”Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, “How to DiscoTech Zine”