Thursday, August 25, 2011
In a previous article I wrote about MOOCs, or massive on-line organized learning communities. These are part of a series of articles focused on learning.
When we created the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 our aim was to "collect and organize all we could find related to volunteer-based non-school tutoring/mentoring" and how such programs could contribute to workforce development and social justice. This chart illustrates the range of ideas we've been collecting and adding to web libraries. This link points to one of four sections in our library.
While universities, libraries, think tanks and many other organizations collect and organize information, the Tutor/Mentor Connection also seeks to actively share this information with anyone who cares about poverty, racism, education, wealth gaps, social justice, democracy, etc. The goal is that as more people become personally involved and understand the infrastructure needed to operate and sustain long-term connections between programs, volunteers and inner city youth, more people will be proactive in seeking out places to offer time, talent and dollars.
This video illustrates the year-round strategy we've developed and this chart outlines the public awareness strategy we've been trying to implement.
Unfortunately we've never had much money to invest in what we do. Yet our network keeps growing each day. These are some awards that have recognized my work. Imagine what we might do to bring thousands of people to this knowledge in an on-going MOOC focused on helping tutor/mentor programs grow --- if we had a greater wealth of resources.
This is Ryan Field at Northwestern University. It's one of thousands of buildings at universities, hospitals, sports stadiums with the name of a benefactor or sponsor who has put up millions of dollars for that privilege.
While I enjoy football and baseball I think we'd all benefit from working together to help more kids born in poverty be in jobs and able to support their kids when they are adults rather than in prison or living in high-poverty neighborhoods.
Thus, I offer the Tutor/Mentor Institute, Tutor/Mentor Connection, or a component of our work, such as the conferences or the tutor/mentor program locator, as a "naming opportunity" for someone who wants to help us make this a better world for all of us.
If you search for the words "tutor mentor" on Google or most other search engines our sites come up multiple times on the first page. You'd need to spend quite a bit of money for that ranking. We already have it. You can too.
Contact me on Skype at "dbassill" or join the Tutor/Mentor Institute on Facebook.