Saturday, February 24, 2018

Building Local-Global Problem Solving Connections

I've been connecting with people and ideas via Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook for the past 10 years. I currently find Twitter chats more valuable than either other platform so I created this hashtag concept map so others could connect via the same groups I've found.

For the past two weeks I've been part of an on-line #EngageMOOC course focused on "Engagement in a time of Polarization".  The content (videos, articles) for the course is hosted on #EdX, so you need to be logged in to read. However, some materials are also available on YouTube and   I put the 2/12/18 YouTube hangout video on my Vialogues page, so others could view and offer comments.  I read and commented on the article titled "Power, Polarization and Tech" using

The course content will remain on line for at least one year, in archive format, but without the chatter on Twitter, I'm not certain how many more people will find the information, read it, and engage with others. Furthermore, after a year all of this may disappear.

The problems we focus on will extend much longer than that.

I've been building a web library for the past 20 years (which before that was a paper-based library hosted at my office in Chicago).  If you view tweets I've posted about #tutor #mentor and #learning, you'll see that I point to this regularly, as a resource for anyone in the world who wants to get involved in reducing poverty, which includes building and sustaining non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs that reach k-12 youth in every high poverty neighborhood of Chicago and any other city.

I created the cMap shown below today to illustrate the need to archive information and keep it available for decades and to motivate growing numbers of people to spend time learning from the library to support ways they use their own time, talent, dollars and civic engagement, where ever they live, or in what ever issue they focus on.

Yesterday I attended a lunch event at the Chicago Hyatt Regency in Chicago, along with at least 300 others. I sat between the General Consul from Japan and the General Consul from South Korea. We listened to Senator Tammy Duckworth describe 21st century threats and opportunities.

As I listened I tweeted out a wish that all these people were connected and engaged via Twitter chats and other social media platforms, the way I've been growing my engagements. Furthermore, I hoped that more and more of the on-line interactions would point to reading material and videos the way the #engageMOOC course has been doing.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) is an "information based 4-part problem solving strategy, visualized in the cmap at the right, and in this article. It uses information to support decisions and actions, including the flow of resources into high poverty areas.

I hope that my conversations on-line and with people I sit next to at lunch will lead them to look at what I'm writing, and will lead them to engage youth as intermediaries, like myself, in bringing more people to on-line forums and on-line libraries.  The video below is an example of what's possible. It was created by an intern from South Korea and it shows work that previous interns did when they were working with me.

This is one of many visualizations created by interns between 2005 and 2015.   On this page you can see a list of interns who have worked with my organization, and the universities they came from.

I've been reaching out to universities since starting the Tutor/Mentor Connection (T/MC) in 1993, with a request for shared ownership that involves students, faculty and alumni. While I've been fortunate to have many interns take short term roles, up to one year, I've not been able to embed a Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute program on any campus, where it shares the goal of the university and many different departments of the university, as well of many different alumni.

I've never been able to bring money to the table, thus my ideas get polite nods and "go find a younger professor" suggestions.

Many of the people who I'm meeting in on-line communities come from high schools and higher education.  Here's an article where I invite universities to form an on-campus program that duplicates what I've been trying to do, and does it better, and for many more years into the future. I think this could be happening at the high school level, too.

Learning Communities
Graphic created by Intern 
At some point in the future a #clmooc that I point to should be one where students and alumni from different universities, in different countries, are sharing work they've been doing to learn what I've been trying to do and to apply those ideas to help reduce poverty in their own communities.

Interested? Connect with me @tutormentorteam on Twitter or on Linkedin or Facebook. Or introduce yourself with a comment on this article.

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