Friday, January 06, 2017

Dig Deeper into Tutor/Mentor Ideas and Articles

I've been writing this blog since 2005 and began putting ideas on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC site in 1998 via embedded PowerPoint presentations. Earlier than that I was putting these graphics in printed newsletters.

This represents a lot of information, and few people are willing to make the time to read, digest and share the ideas. Thus, one strategy I've used is to engage interns from various colleges in short, or long, periods of study which results in presentations that they create to interpret what they read.  You can see the image shown above with a collection of other presentations on this page.

The inspiration for my articles and graphics has come from my own experiences in leading a tutor/mentor program in Chicago, as well as from how I'm continually connecting and learning from others. The web library that I've aggregated over the past 30 years is really a collection of links to people and ideas that I've found valuable, and that I feel others would also find useful.

Finding ways to motivate others to dig into this information and then share what they are learning with others has always been the big challenge. When I can, I try to point to others who are already doing this, as an example of what I feel many others can do.

Below is a screen shot of a video created last week by Terry Elliott, a college professor from Western Kentucky, who I first met in 2013 via an on-line Connected Learning, #clmooc.

Over the past couple of weeks Terry introduced me to an RSS feed aggregation called Inoreader. He first mentioned this on a Twitter message and when I asked for help understanding it, he created a video, which he then posted on Vialogues so I could ask questions and he could respond. Then he created this blog article to show several different uses of Inoreader.

A year ago I did not know anything about on-line annotation and Terry was the one who introduced me to this at that time.  In this Jan. 2016 article I share this introduction to annotation.  And in this Feb 2016 article I show many ways that Terry and others who I've met online are expanding my range of ideas.

What's even more important is that Terry has been expanding his own understanding of the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC over the past four years and he is sharing this understanding with members of his own network via the blog articles he writes and our interactions on Twitter, Facebook and similar spaces.

Here's another example. When Terry introduced me to annotation last January I suggested that this would be a way for myself and others to share thinking from books and PDF articles we had read in the past.  I suggested that we look at a 1992 report from The Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, titled Redefining Child and Family Services: Directions for the Future.  

This was one of the primary resources that I used to show why the Tutor/Mentor Connection was needed and what it was going to do.

We were not able to do that then, but in the past month we were able to load a 1995 update and use to add comments in the margins. Here's the link. Take a look.

Had more people adopted and supported the Tutor/Mentor Connection strategies from 1993-2016 I feel that there would be more supports in places helping kids in high poverty Chicago neighborhoods move safely from pre-school to jobs and careers and the strategy might have spread to other cities.

Part of the reason I did not get that support is that too few people actually knew the Tutor/Mentor Connection existed or what it was trying to do...because I did not have the tools now available to share my ideas, and did not have people like Terry Elliott, helping me build understanding and awareness in more places.

Poverty and inequality are still entrenched in Chicago and America. Thus, it's not too late for people to dig into these ideas and look for ways to apply them locally and globally.

Since I started the Tutor/Mentor Connection in 1993 I've encouraged colleges and high schools to adopt the T/MC strategy, with students doing the same work I do, but focused on the geography around their university.  This article from June 2015 shows that vision.

Over the past twenty years many people have done what Terry Elliott is doing, but few have done it consistently.  I created the concept map shown below as one way to aggregate links to people like Terry, so others could see what they are writing about, and connect with them, not just with me.

Anyone can take this role. The more who do, the greater will be the visibility and application of these ideas.  If you do start using your blog, videos or web site to share and interpret the ideas on my blog and web sites, send me a link and I'll add you to the map.

If you want to set up a student involvement project modeled after the T/MC I'd love to help you do that. 

Thanks to all who inspire my work on a daily basis by how you spend time networking and sharing your own ideas.

1 comment:


Not a mutual admiration society, but rather a mutual inspiration society. Gotta believe: that's what you have taught me. Gotta believe.