Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tutor/Mentor Conference shares ideas, builds networks

On Thursday and Friday about 120 people gathered in Chicago for the 31st Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference. Some were here for their second, third or fourth conference, such as Darryl Finch, from Milwaukee (shown in picture with myself). Others, like a group of six faith leaders from Mississippi, were here for the first time.

On various blogs, and in the Tutor/Mentor Connection on Ning, and the NUTutormentor on Ning, we'll try to summarize some of what happened, and attempt to connect all of these people, and others, so that over the next six months we can do more to help tutor/mentor programs grow and expand the social capital and learning opportunities for youth in high poverty areas of Chicago, and other cities.

Cool tools ---
Part of the learning is to share ideas. The number of people who can attend our conference in Chicago is really small, compared the the millions of people who need to find and use the information we share. On the Tutor/Mentor Connection web site I've a library of more than 1500 links to information that any one in Chicago, or any other state, can use to support their own efforts.

I'd like to highlight an area I call Cool Tools
This is a section on the T/MC web library where I highlight technology tools that enable learning and collaboration. Here are a few examples:

Common Good Forecaster - this site is really useful to illustrate how a better education improves the outcomes for youth and communities. No mater what state you live in, you can use this site.

Socialmeter- evaluates web site performance

Muckety - Exploring the paths of power and influence. This site illustrates the power of technology to map personal and professional networks. Type in the name of a well known person and look at who they are connected to

While these are a few cool technology tools, another section you should bookmark is one titled Process Improvement and Collaboration. The links in this section are sites that anyone can use to build more effective collaborations, smarter organizations, and more effective strategies to help kids in poverty get the network of support they need to move from first grade to careers.

I hope you find this information useful. If you attended the conference in Chicago I hope to connect with you on-line as we work to build the resources needed to sustain existing non profits working with kids, and to help new ones grow where they are needed.

This is a huge mountain to climb and no single individual or organization can do all that is needed. I look forward to connecting with those who want our help, or who can help us.

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