At one end of the trendy Cafe Aprendiz in Brazil, patrons enjoy dishes such as three-cheese ravioli and salmon salad with cucumber, but it’s not the food that has drawn a group of older women seated in the back, CNET reports: They’ve come for the computers. They are part of OldNet, a program that has seniors learning computer skills from high school students at a PC lab tucked in the back of the cafe. While other diners eat and converse, a half-dozen women surf the internet, chat with friends, and send eMail to relatives. OldNet is just one part of the "neighborhood as school" concept put forth by Brazilian journalist Gilberto Dilmenstein. And Aprendiz is not your typical digital inclusion center, but it does embrace most important characteristics of the successful ones. It has at least three key elements beyond the technology itself: a clear curriculum, community support, and a model of sustainability. While these elements sound straightforward, they are often missing in programs that attempt to close the digital divide, whether here in Latin America or in the United States…

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