The installation of Google Fiber's ultra-high-speed internet service is well underway in Kansas City.
But what will it mean to area residents on a day-to-day, practical level?
The Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., will be a hub of discussion, collaboration, and education on Thursday, February 13, 2014, when technologists, community catalysts, and others gather for an all-day event, Building the Gigabit City 2.0. From 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., they'll explore the future of hyper-fast internet applications and the innovations being spurred by Google Fiber's implementation here.
A related series of activities on the second floor of the Central Library - beginning at 4:30 p.m. and designed for youth, parents, and educators - will offer a variety of digital learning opportunities in commemoration of Digital Learning Day.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Mark Holland, mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas, will kick off the day with a discussion of the Kansas City area's growing digital opportunities. Representatives from the Mozilla Foundation, which is launching a Gigabit Community Fund to support innovators in Kansas City and Chattanooga, Tennessee, will highlight some of the next-generation software application prototypes arising from the nationwide Mozilla Ignite Challenge.
Morning activities also will feature demonstrations of gigabit products (including a software lending service being developed by the Library) and a panel discussion with representatives of U.S. Ignite, the National Science Foundation and the National Science Foundation-sponsored GENI Project Office.
Breakout sessionsfrom 1-5 p.m. will allow attendees to work in groups on gigabit software applications of potential use in education, workforce development, digital inclusion, digital storytelling, and lifelong learning efforts.
A reception and report-out from participants will start at 6 p.m.
Separate Digital Learning Day activities will run from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in the Children's Library and throughout the rest of the second floor of the Central Library. Offerings include a CoderDojo coding session hosted by Women in Technology, Microsoft Store training for Kodu (a free coding software platform), digital storytelling, and Little Bits and Arduino beginners' kits from Science City for on-site interactive learning.
Building the Gigabit City 2.0 is presented in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation - a nonprofit organization promoting openness, innovation, and participation on the internet - and KC Digital Drive.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org  or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.