As we head into a new week of school, the conditions that some of our students live in are far different. Perhaps some live in the Houston area, where they have lost a home, or will be without electricity for a week or longer. Perhaps they lived in the areas near New Orleans destroyed by Katrina and their lives are still not back to normal. And maybe normal, like the neighborhoods of the 9th Ward of New Orleans, was never very equal to what the students of most people on this list face every day.
Of course, if your students are in Iraq, Darfur, and other parts of the world where the poverty and lack of resources is much more extreme than even what poor students in America face every day, tomorrow will be another day of struggle, fear, survival.
I write this wondering how many of the educators in Classroom 2.0 are using the technology we're all discussing to connect students from poor areas, with learning and opportunities beyond their current circumstances. Or, if the students in more affluent areas, are learning about those in more challenged areas, and beginning to learn of people who spend their whole lives trying to help make life better for the disadvantaged. Maybe some of these students will be inspired by what they learn and will be the leaders of the future who create bridges from poverty to opportunity for kids all over the world.
I encourage you to view the maps at http://mappingforjustice.blogspot.com to see how maps can be used to focus attention on places where kids and families need help, and will need help for many years.
This is a technology many of your schools might adopt to connect your students with places around the world where they can give help, or get help.
I'm sure many of you are already using technology to inspire your students to become involved in world events, and in learning. I encourage you to share your stories, or post links to web sites that illustrate what you do.
New changes within my district and office have changed our focus somewhat. I just got around to reading about your work. Sounds very interesting. As we move into the future here looking at ways to integrate these online tools with students connecting in other places, we might be able to come up with new ideas.
I posted a message on my blog showing a flash presentation our interns did to show what happened at the conference. This week they created another presentation, this time about our 16th annual year end dinner celebration. You can find the link on the Cabrini Blog.
For organizations who are struggling for public attention, trying to recruit volunteers and trying to find dollars, you have an untapped resource in your students. If they create content and learn to distribute it, they can be a powerful advocate for your organizations.
In doing so they learn problem solving and communications skills that can apply for the rest of their lives.
Thanks. I hope that once they get someone in this job they will take some time to learn from what we've been doing in this area, rather than starting from scratch in their own learning. If you know of folks working in this area please encourage them to connect with us via the conference in May and November.
A pleasure to meet you. I can pass along your contact information to our Community Service Learning Coordinator and the Prinicipal in our High School. I see you have already been in touch with people at the U of C center for Urban School Improvement, too.
Thanks for the info! It is a very worthwhile endeavor. Feel free to use any of the materials in the Maze, and let me know how we can help. I tutor students here in Buffalo and know how important it is to keep the connections alive.
Actually, distance should no longer be a barrier to involvement. The knowledge anyone puts on the Internet can be used by people in any part of the world, if they have acess to it, if someone helps them understand it, and if someone helps them get the resources needed to put the knowledge to work. Since cities in Australia are dealing with some of the same poverty, racism and workforce development issues as we are in Chicago, and others are in other cities, there are plenty of ways for people using the concepts of Classroom 2.0 to serve as intermediaries in this process.
As you or anyone else looks at this information, think of people and organizations in your network who you might introduce, or who might add information of their own. That's an on-going opportunity. Those who have more time, or more specific self-interest, will find more ways to get involved.
Hope everyone had a nice holiday. If you're interested in volunteer-based tutoring and/or mentoring, or want to engage students in a service, learning and leadership project, introduce yourself here, or join at http://tutormentorconnection.ning.com
What I'm trying to do is create an overview of the entire city, so we know what schools, and/or neighborhoods, have any form of tutor/mentor programs. With this information we can enlist colleges, professionals, businesses and others to be volunteers, donors, or take other roles to help each of the programs constantly improve, while helping new programs form in areas where there are too few, or no programs.
Using forms like this we can post information and ideas for many to see, and use.
Thanks for information about your organization. We actually do have a volunteer program via City Year here at the specific charter school that I work with. I'm new to my position, and so far, I'm impressed with the level of support provided to kids at my school. I agree that volunteer program can really help out schools in need!
I posted comments in the discussion forum on the Map web site. I've visited there about once a month, but there does not seem to be much interaction. I host a face to face conference in Chicago every six months, and a Chicagoland volunteer recruitment campaign in Aug/Sept. each year. These bring people together through the planning, the event, and the publicity, and that leads to relationship building between me and many, and between those who participate and each other.
For the past 3 years I've been trying to build an on-line discussion to that would parallel the conference time frame, with similar topics being discussed. These could be hosted from any place and any organization and linked together by a variety of web conference schedules and links.
My feeling is that the combination of face to face events in many cities with on-line events at the same time, would greatly increase the visibility for a cause and the number of people involved. You can read about the conference and find an econference link at http://www.tutormentorconference.org
Daniel - thanks for checking out the Map. I like what you've got to say here and on your blog.
Just out of curiosity, where did you leave comments on our site? I don't see them. The blog is the most active part of the map project right now; we just launched and I could really use some comments there.
I've seen some discussions on collaboration, using cMaps and other software. Do any of you know of groups discussing service learning, or voluteer service, with students using web 2.0 tools to collaborate with students in their school, or other schools?
I've created a link on the T/MC web site to many of the on-line forums where I meet people. It is at http://www.tutormentorconnection.org/TMLearningNetwork/LinksLibrary/tabid/560/rrcid/92/rrscid/120/rrpid/1/rrepp/20/Default.aspx
Thanks Sue. I hope that through this space or others we can connect more people who understand the need to build programs in order to connect kids, technology, volunteers and learning, and to sustain those connections for many years. To build programs we need to attract business, philanthropy, universities and innovate low cost ways to use their resources of people, dollars, technology and jobs.
The people who join this type of forum can use the ideas in any part of the world, and can contribute to solutions that are applied in every part of the world. I look forward to learning more of you and your network.