Project Next Generation
Project Next Generation (PNG), an educational technology initiative of Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, was established to help educate at-risk students and bridge the digital divide. By providing technology training for students, with limited access to computers, PNG empowers students to succeed academically and eventually as independent, contributing members of society.
In service of this mission, the PNG program offers grant funding to libraries for establishing after-school training programs that not only provide access to computers, software and various technology devices, but also hire mentors who are crucial to helping students develop self-confidence and pride in their newly acquired skills.
The value of this training is evidenced through increased confidence of students as they achieve success through project based learning; reinforced abilities and learning as libraries offer technology based experiences for participating students who might not otherwise have access; the enhanced ability of students to deal with life experiences and the future; and ultimately, the coupling of technology education with safe and friendly environments that foster communication with positive role models.
Contact Project Next Generation
Karen Egan, Associate Director, Library Development Group
Illinois State Library
300 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1796
Project Next Generation Grant Information
Project Next Generation (PNG) grant projects encourage personal growth and the educational development of at risk students through the use of mentors, technology and library based group projects. The goal of PNG is to bridge the digital divide by making recent technologies accessible to students who have limited access to computers. In a similar manner, the program strives to provide a safe and friendly environment filled with positive role models. The mentors involved with the program foster the development of self-confidence and pride in their students by helping them gain technical knowledge necessary for future educational and professional success.
The Illinois State Library funds PNG grants that result in the following outcomes:
- Increase confidence of students as they achieve success through project based learning.
- Reinforce abilities and learning as libraries offer technology based experiences for participating students who might not otherwise have access.
- Enhance the ability of students to deal with life experiences and the future.
- Learn about the experiences of America's veterans while using technology to collect and preserve their stories.
Learn More About the Grant
Computer and Technology Websites for Kids
- ABCya.com - Grade level lessons incorporate areas such as math and language arts while introducing basic computer skills. All the activities on this site were created or approved by certified school teachers.
- Americas CryptoKids - At this site from the National Security Agency, students learn all about cryptology, the art of making and breaking codes.
- Computer History Museum - The Computer History Museum offers many online exhibits on a variety of topics related to the history of computing.
- Carnegie Cyber Academy - At the Carnegie Cyber Academy, cadets complete several training missions in Cyberspace that equip them with the skills they need to be good cybercitizens and Cyber Defenders of the Internet.
- Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry - Information about the museum's many exhibits. Students may also experience science hands-on with their web and mobile-based apps.
- Click-N-Learn - Click on various computer parts to learn more about them.
- Dance Mat Typing - A fun colourful website with animation and games introducing touch typing to children aged 7 to 11.
- E-Learning for Kids: Computer Skills - Courses from keyboarding skills, safety on the Internet, and using specific applications like Microsoft Word and PowerPoint are provided.
- GirlGeeks.org - An online community for women and girls interested in technology and computing.
- Great Websites for Kids: Mathematics & Computers - A compilation of exemplary websites geared to children from birth to age 14. Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
- Great Websites for Kids: Sciences - A compilation of exemplary websites geared to children from birth to age 14. Sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
- Greatest Engineering Achievements of the 20th Century - This website contains detailed historical information, timelines, and personal essays by key innovators for each of 20 major engineering accomplishments of the 20th century.
- Illinois Veterans History Project - Features information on how to participate in the Illinois Veterans History Project. Links to regular and large print versions of the Illinois Patriot Information form are provided, as well as to the project's YouTube Channel.
- Internet Public Library Kids Space - Features a subject-categorized directory of authoritative websites, links to stories, homework help, science fair projects and more.
- Internet Public Library For Teens - Features a subject-categorized directory of authoritative websites geared to teens and young adults.
- Invention at Play - Learn how play connects to the creative impulse of both historic and contemporary inventors. From the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
- KidzSearch - An Internet a search engine just for kids.
- Microsoft Office Training - Although not necessarily for children, these tutorials may still be helpful to students learning such Microsoft Office products as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Publisher.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for Students - Get the latest updates on NASA missions, meet some of NASA's astronauts, engineers and scientists, and read about inventions that helped people understand the universe better.
- NetSmartz Kids - NetSmartz Kids is an interactive, educational program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children that provides age-appropriate resources to help teach children how to be safer on- and offline. The program is designed for children ages 5-17, parents and guardians, educators, and law enforcement.
- OnguardOnline.gov for Kids - Learn about being safe online and how to protect yourself.
- Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge - The FBI's Safe Online Surfing (SOS) Internet Challenge covers topics such as cyberbullying, protecting personal information, recognizing trustworthy and untrustworthy sites, and avoiding malware through age-appropriate activities. Students visit the island that aligns with their grade level and surf through activities that teach how to recognize hazards and respond appropriately. Available in Spanish.
- Stop CyberBullying For Kids and Teens - Provided by the Illinois Attorney General, this site provides useful information and tips that can help make kids less vulnerable to cyberbullying.