Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Take a learning journey through Tutor/Mentor web library

In 2010 a volunteer who was looking at the resources of the Tutor/Mentor Connection wrote a blot article titled "Thinking like Google", in which he compared the T/MC to Google. He wrote,

It occurred to me that this forum is essentially modeled on a similar format as Google's. Tutormentorconnection.ning.com a) looks for information, or content, and people relevant to the cause of tutoring and mentoring; b) organizes, analyzes, and archives that information for future reference; and c) utilizes those references for targeted advertising campaigns, social networking, grant-writing, and the like. Even more to the point, this forum is a way of attempting to grow the idea of tutoring and mentoring to scale, or to a point where it "tips".

I've built a huge web library and I've created a variety of PDF essays over the past 20 years that are intended to help people learn ways to support the growth of volunteer-based tutoring, mentoring and learning programs in high poverty neighborhoods. While I point to these via email newsletters and social media, I've been looking for new ways to introduce these concepts.

How about a WebQuest?  How might I motivate students and adults to take Michael's advice and begin to journey through my web library, and as they do, share what they are learning with people in their own network, so they begin their own journey through this information.

Several years ago I began to learn about WebQuest and I created an animation to introduce this concept. You can view it on YouTube

Here are a couple of other animations introducing students to a web quest.

Making a map, class assignment, animation.

Doing a web quest.

Interns were on this journey for short bursts of time every year between 2006 and 2015.  Here's a page that shows work interns have done in the past to guide people through this information.

I've been updating the links on the web library so all are working, and I keep adding new links. I also keep adding new blog articles here, here and here. Some of the articles written 10 years ago are as relevant today as they were then, so while it's important that you subscribe and follow new articles, it's also important that you visit the past and read some of those articles.

Here's a visualization done by one of our past interns that illustrates the goal of supporting groups of learners in many sectors, who each look at maps to determine where youth and families need more help, and what programs are already operating in those areas.....who need constant support to constantly improve and stay available.

The links in the web library point to more than 200 youth serving programs in Chicago and others around the country. They point to research articles and to business and foundation web sites.  They represent a large ocean of ideas you can use to help programs grow, by borrowing good ideas already working in different places, rather than by starting from scratch on an on-going basis.

Students could be looking at the web library and could be creating their own presentations to draw adults and other students from their own community into this information, and into actions that lead to the growth of more programs in more places that help kids move through school and into careers.

If you're doing this, please share your links so others can learn from you. If you're interested in exploring this idea with me, let's connect on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Share the Love. Change the World. Make it Better for All.

This graphic was created by two interns from South Korea during a a seven week internship in 2012.  I wrote about it and included a link to the animation in this article.

I was prompted to write today's article because Sunday will be Valentine's Day.  This article from the DePaul University Center for Writing-Based Learning includes it's own message of Love heading into this weekend.  Another article, by Simon Ensor, a professor in France, communicates the same idea and points to ideas I've been sharing at the Tutor/Mentor Blog.

Here's another graphic, also created by the 2012 intern team. Song Me Lee wrote this article, to show how the graphic was created, and to show what she'd been learning during her internship.  I encourage you to look at all of the messages posted by Song Me during her internship.  

On this page of the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site I post a list of interns from 2006 till 2014, with links to articles they wrote to introduce themselves at the start of their internship, and then links to final reflection articles.  Some provide more information than others, but all show an intent that the intern learn new ideas and new skills from working on their projects.

As I've interviewed students for these internships I've emphasized that one of my goals is that these students continue to stay connected to the Tutor/Mentor Connection library of ideas and to each other, so that in future years they become a community of people who help each other, and who apply these ideas to making the world a better place.

I created this presentation to show a goal of having student-led Tutor/Mentor Connection-type teams growing on high school and college campuses throughout the US and the world.  Anyone who takes a few moments to view my blogs and then shares what I'm writing about, as Simon Ensor has done on his blog, is providing inspiration and motivation for one or many people to take this roll.

I'm still waiting for the first university or high school to adopt this strategy, and for the first corporation or benefactor to endow it with 10 years of funding, but as they say "Rome was not built in a day."   

I created this concept map to illustrate this vision. If you start writing about my ideas and/or creating your own visualizations, share the link in the comment box and I'll add you to this map.

Better yet, create your own map, and add my blog articles to it.  

Through the collective effort of many, we'll gather the bricks needed to build the "Rome" of this vision.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Many Ways for Young People to Tell Stories

For the past 10 years I've hosted interns via the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, based in Chicago. If you browse through the articles on this blog you can see work they have done, and find places where I'm encouraging educators at the K-12 level and in colleges, as well as leaders and volunteers in non-school youth programs, to engage their own students in creating visualizations for the same purpose.

For the past couple of months I've been following a series of cartoon comics, created by Kevin Hodgson, a 6th grade teacher in Western Massachusetts.  Below is one.

Visit this link and see the entire series.  There are so many different ways for young people to communicate ideas. I look forward to connecting with youth and educators who get involved doing this work.

Here's a link to a site Kevin shared earlier this week that students and adults can use to create their own comic strips.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Visualizing New Ways To Solve Social Problems

The graphic below is from this animation, created by interns from IIT in Chicago during 2008-09 internships. The goal was to share the vision and four-part strategy piloted by the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) since it was launched in 1993.
Since 2005 a number of interns have worked with T/MC. They've all been challenged to find new way to visualize and communicate ideas originated in Tutor/Mentor Connection blogs, aiming to increase the number of people working to help programs grow in high poverty neighborhoods that expanded the network of adults helping kids move through school and into jobs and careers. This page shows projects that have been done.

Yesterday I was encouraged to view a TED talk by Bret Victor, a technology visionary who has helped develop some of the tools we use today. I was awed by the work he has done and his vision of the future. Below is a video from his bio page, that shows creative ways to represent ideas.

My goal is that youth in k-12 schools, colleges and non-school programs look at the work interns have done with me in the past, and the ideas I keep adding the MappingforJustice blog and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC* blog, then challenge themselves to find new ways to communicate these ideas to the people in their own family/community network. The result will do the following: a) increase the number of people looking at these ideas

b) increase the range and number of people giving time, talent and dollars to help high quality, mentor-rich, programs reach youth in under-served areas with supports that help those youth move through school and into 22nd century careers

c) increase understanding of youth who work on these projects of the infrastructure needed to build and sustain long-term programs, and the ways volunteers, donors, youth and others can proactively support such programs in all parts of a geographic area

d) expand youth understanding of spatial mapping and dynamic communications tools

e) expand growth of information-based intermediaries like T/MC in other cities of the world, and apply this problem solving strategy to other social/environmental issues

f) create a future generation of leaders who use information and networked-learning consistently to innovate solutions to problems and use dynamic communications to share solutions in ways that build and sustain support from a wide sector of people for these solutions.

On this wiki page I describe how this might become a competition that involves a growing number of young people and volunteers.

As more youth become involved in this work, and learn from people like Bret Vector, we'll create a future generation of leaders who apply these tools to visualizing and shaping a brighter future for the world they will inherit.

*The Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC was created in 2011 to continue the work of the Tutor/Mentor Connection in Chicago, while helping similar intermediaries grow in other cities.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Visualizing ideas. The Role of Intermediaries

I encourage you to view this animated video, highlighting ideas from Robert Putnam's book titled Bowling Alone.

Once you've viewed the video, visit the Macat.com blog and see how they are creating a wide range of videos and blog articles to share big ideas.

Then look through the blog articles posted here, and think of how students, volunteers and professionals could repackage some of the work done by interns, and other ideas shared on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site, so more people would understand and apply these ideas in their own communities.

Work done by young people in middle school, high school and college, and by volunteers with professional communications skills, could draw more people to information libraries where they create a deeper understanding of complex problems and begin to look at how some people are solving those problems in some places, which are ideas that could be borrowed and applied in other places.

If you're interested in doing this work, why not join and introduce yourself in the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Introduction to Tutor/Mentor Exchange Web Site and Strategy

During her Jan-Feb 2015 internship with Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, Wona Chang created two visualizations using Prezi. In one she showed a "learning path" that guides visitors through the different strategies and resources offered by the T/MI and Tutor/Mentor Connection. In the second, she showed different sections of the T/MI web site.

Below is the "learning path" video:

Below is the introduction to the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site at http://www.tutormentorexchange.net

Hopefully these will be used by thousands of people who are looking for ways to help high quality, constantly-improving tutor/mentor programs grow in big cities like Chicago.

I wrote this article focused on deeper learning in 2012. It emphasizes the many hours of reading and reflection needed to understand issues before being able to lead and innovate solutions. The work Wona and other interns have done illustrates a learning strategy that could be duplicated in many places. Spend time browsing information related to an issue that is important to you, then create your own visualization to guide others through the same information.

If more people do this for many years we can change the way we solve problems in the world.  As I've said in the past, I think youth in high schools, college and other non-school tutor/mentor programs could be doing the same type of work as Wona and past interns have done, helping others in their community find and use ideas that help great programs grow in ALL of the places where kids need extra help.

If you're doing this work, or want to do it with the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC please introduce yourself.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Introduction to Tutor/Mentor Institute web site

I created this graphic to help people understand the information available on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC web site.

Wona Chang, the 2015 winter intern from IIT and South Korea, created the introduction shown below, first using Prezi, then by adding the Prezi to a YouTube video, which is seen below.

I wrote this article focused on deeper learning in 2012. It emphasizes the many hours of reading and reflection needed to understand issues before being able to lead and innovate solutions. The work Wona and other interns have done illustrates a learning strategy that could be duplicated in many places. Spend time browsing information related to an issue that is important to you, then create your own visualization to guide others through the same information.

If more people do this for many years we can change the way we solve problems in the world.