Friday, October 25, 2019

Can Afterschool Programs Learn from Connected Learning Community?

My Personal Learning Network (PLN) has developed over the past 20 years and includes a wide range of people and organizations. I point to many of them in sections of the Tutor/Mentor web library that I started in the late 1990s.

Today I saw this Tweet from Kevin Hodgson, a #clmooc member and middle school teacher from Western Massachusetts.

I learned about annotation from Kevin and Terry Elliott a few years ago and have participated in shared reading of many articles since then using

As I viewed the infographic that Kevin's pointing to I thought of one of my own.

I created this in the 1990s to visualize the role anyone can take to draw people to the information I share and to different tutor/mentor programs in Chicago.  At the right is a map of Chicago, where high poverty areas are shaded with darker colors. These are places where non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs are most needed.

To the left of the map is a large circle, which represents the library of information I've been building, and which now is available on the internet. It also represents the 12 to 20 years it takes for a youth to grow from pre-school to first job, and the support he/she receives from formal schools and from family and community during the non-school hours. 

The circles under the larger circle represent groups of people viewing this information and using it to support actions they take to assure that all kids move safely and successfully through school and into adult lives.

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If you look at my graphic, then the pdf Kevin has shared, I'm describing the same process, but aiming to engage the "village" of people, beyond formal educators and parents, who need to be helping kids grow up and enter jobs and careers.

Since most non-school programs are non-profits the village I'm trying to connect needs to include philanthropy, volunteers, media, researchers, business leaders, media, policy-makers and many others.

To me the only way to connect such a large group on an on-going basis is by using the Internet (in combination with traditional face-to-face interaction).  The process described in this pdf is one way to help such diverse groups connect, learn and begin to work toward common goals.

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At the right is an interpretation of my 1990s graphic created by Sam Lee, a South Korean intern from IIT who spent seven weeks at my organization in Chicago during 2011. 

Sam broke my graphic into two separate graphics. On this first one she enlarged the maps of Chicago to emphasize the need to focus discussions on ways to make programs available in every high poverty area. Then she also listed more of the different groups who need to be having this conversation, and created a circle to represent the sub-sections with each group.

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At the left is the second graphic created by Sam Lee. It emphasizes the pre-school through work timeline, includes the map, and encourages people to become 'more informed, more involved".

When I participate in annotations with the #clmooc group I point to some of these graphics and suggest that students from schools all over the world could be creating their own versions, using maps of their cities or neighborhoods instead of Chicago.

Then they could be posting these in blog articles and videos and inviting others to discuss the ideas, talk of ways to improve them, and talk of ways to apply the thinking to building and sustaining youth-serving programs that expand social capital for youth living in high poverty, highly segregated areas.

I also talk of how I keep trying to draw the ecosystem I've been describing into Twitter and annotated conversations and how others need to help make that happen.

One of the first Asian interns to work with me, Michael Tam, set up this blog in 2006, to journal his involvement. I've used it ever since to journal the involvement of other interns who joined me each year through 2015.  I've also tagged nearly  70 articles on this blog to point to work interns have done.

Any of those articles could be a topic for annotation and for discussion of ways youth (and adults) could be doing similar work, and ways they and the community might benefit from such efforts.

I'm on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. Follow me and connect with those who I follow and reTweet daily.  Let's talk about how you can use these ideas.

If you value the ideas I'm sharing then please consider a small contribution to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC and help me pay the bills.  Click here to learn more.

1 comment:

Dogtrax said...

I love the connections that you always make, Daniel. Michelle does amazing work in reaching youth in different settings and for different reasons in Pittsburgh. Her work around literacies and social justice issues is inspiring.