Friday, April 22, 2005

eLearning and Collaboration ... Connecting the Dots

It's the final day of the Tech Soup forum on eLearning and Collaboration. I've enjoyed being a co-host. Many people have shared information ranging from experience in organizing on-line learning to experience in facilitating an on-line community to variations in technology available.

I posted my summary comments this morning, encouraging those who attended this week, and those who might attend in future weeks to take the ideas and begin to work together to create the next generation of on-line communities.

My suggestion was sort of 'anti collaborative'. I said, take this fruit and plant it in your own back yard so it can multiply. If we all wait for someone to take the lead, we'll be all waiting for a long time. Why? Because everyone in the Tech Soup forum (and in many similar forums) has a full time life responsibility that is not aligned to the goals of most of the others in the same forum.

Until people go back into their own jobs and organizations and begin to try to apply elearning and collaboration to achieve the mission of their own organization, they will not devote the time, energy and innovation capital needed to build on what is being learned in forums like Tech Soup. And unless they are motivated to link what they do to others, or share it freely in an open source type environment, most won't benefit from what a few are able to achieve.

I post my messages here on this blog, in the Tech Soup forum, and in dozens of other forums. My goal is to inspire people to develop new and better ways to work together to help kids and to draw attention and support to my organization, so I can also have the time, talent and resources to constantly innovate ways the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Cabrini Connections can help kids in the Chicago area and in the Cabrini Green area of Chicago.

I just launched my blog last week, thanks to the help of one of my volunteers. So far I cannot see any comments. Yet, in 1998 when we first launched the web site, we also did not see any traffic during the first week. However, we've had more than 100,000 visitors to the site since then and many people from around the world are using the resources on that site. Many of the volunteers working with us now connected with us via that web site.

I'm hoping that this blog will become a journal that others will use in the future to connect with us, or to build tutor/mentor connections in any place where people need to work together to solve deeply embedded problems.

As you visit and learn from this information, I'll look forward to reading your comments and suggestions.

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