Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Navigating the information world

This week I decided to spend some time listening to presentations of the 2017 Global Education Conference.  It's still going on, so here's the agenda for next two days. All sessions will be archived, so don't worry if you miss anything.

As I listened to sessions I shared some of what I was learning on Twitter, using #GlobalEd hashtag. Then this morning I tuned into a discussion of #GlobalGoals and #MakeourWorld, which both talked about some of the same things that were being discussed in the Global Ed Conference, such as how do educators engage youth in solving global problems defined by the United Nations, by 2030.

I added links to all three chats in my hashtag map so I could go back later and look more deeply into ideas and links that were shared, and add relevant ones to my own web library.

Since I focus on aggregating information that anyone can use to help youth in high poverty areas I was especially interested when others pointed out information libraries I was not familiar with. For instance,

MERLOT, is a Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and On-Line Teaching. The site hosts thousands of on-line learning objects that focus on Information & Communications Technology (ICT) Literacy.  Click on the link above and on the first page you'll find a list of collections that educators and leaders of youth tutor/mentor programs should find interesting. For instance this link points to Fake News teaching resources.

Then through today's #GlobalGoals chat I learned about The Global Opportunity Explorer Platform which is collecting hundreds of sustainable solutions and market opportunities which address the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

I created this cMap to show other organizations in Chicago who were working to help youth succeed in school and life. On each node is a link to the organization's web site, where ideally you'd find links to information related to the work that organization, and members of its network, are doing.

At the bottom of my map you can see four categories, highlighted in dark pink, which focus on business, philanthropy, faith groups and universities. I'd love to find a site like The Global Opportunity Explorer, aggregating stories about what business or philanthropy is doing to help non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs grow in high poverty areas of Chicago, or any other city.

View Influence article
The library I've been building since 1993 has tried to collect links to organizations doing good work, as well as resource providers doing good work in helping them.  I don't have nearly enough information in some categories, so I point out the Merlot and Global Opportunity Explorer platform as two examples of organizations that are aggregating information to support others who are trying to create a better world.

The challenge is, that there is too much information, or too little time for people to dig through all the sites to find what they are looking for.

I have long recognized this problem. In the four-part strategy I launched in 1993, Step 3 focused on facilitating understanding so more people find and use the information that I'm collecting.

That's why the Global Ed Conference session I watched yesterday, led by Barbara Bray appealed to me.  In preparation for her session Barbara created a Google doc, with a list of links she was talking about.  Instead of saying "wade through 2000 links, she pulled out about 20, then talked about them in her recorded presentation.

click here to view
This is what interns were doing for me between 2006 and 2015 during projects that lasted from a week to a year.  Visit this page and find visualizations done to show information and ideas of the Tutor/Mentor Connection which were communicated in a variety of formats by many different students.

With so much information and so many problems to solve, this is a role that schools and volunteer-service organizations from thousands of places could be taking on an on-going basis to get more and more people engaged in solving problems, capitalizing on opportunities, and creating a better future.

In one of the final posts to the #makeourworld chat today, +socialgood posted a message asking "what is something you need help with".

My response is shown below.

read about this
I need help in many areas to re-build the Tutor/Mentor Connection and to continue to collect and share information intended to help youth have access to non-school programs, volunteer tutors and mentors and other resources that help them move safely through school

It's the work at the bottom of this pyramid that supports what all others need to be doing.

Click here if you want to provide financial support or reach out via social media if you want to help in other ways.

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