Saturday, September 28, 2019

Concept Map Library - new page

I've been creating concept maps to visualize ideas since 2005. These are embedded in dozens of blog articles which you can find if you scroll through this set of articles.

I have built so many that I created a page on my web site where I showed all that have been created.  I've pointed to that link often.

Today, I built a new page, with a new link.  It is

If you click on the earlier version you'll still see the maps, however, I'm not updating these and the images are not always showing properly.

If you're interested in the concept maps, bookmark the link above, so whenever you want to visit the library you go to the most current page.

By the way. I'm not really happy with how this looks, but I've stretched my page building and HTML knowledge as far as it goes.  If someone wants to build a new page that I can put on the JOOMLA platform, please get in contact with me.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Connecting with the world and the powerful - via Twitter

I've included versions of this graphic often in my blog articles to show my role in connecting people who can help, to information they can use to support decisions they make about who they will help and what type of help they will provide.

I've never had much (any) money for advertising so have used blogs, my web sites, email newsletters and social media to try to connect with others.  Below are a few Tweets from the past few weeks that illustrate how I am doing this.

I posted this on Sept. 17 as I listened to a webinar hosted by the Forum for Youth Investment  The archive of that event is here

Then on Sept 19 I participated in this #MPCLuncheon, hosted by The Metropolitan Planning Council, with Tweets like this,

Here's another Tweet that I posted, using #MPCLuncheon hashtag.

At the same time I was watching the September 19 City Club of Chicago lunch speaker and posted the Tweet shown below.  The City Club of Chicago hosts weekly lunches and livestreams them so people like myself can engage, just as I'm demonstrating.

Because I mentioned #NodeXL, a network analysis tool, in my #MPCLuncheon Tweet, they created a network analysis map showing who was connecting on September 19.

On Sept. 21 I shared this with Raymond Lopez, Chicago's 15th Ward Alderman

Then I posted this as I followed some Tweets from the Rockefeller Foundation who hosted a major gathering in New York City this week, to discuss ways to achieve the UN Global Goals by 2030.  There are 17 Goals, so their event was organized into #17Rooms.

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, I responded to an email invitation from the Rockefeller Foundation to share #myglobalvision

Also on Tuesday I posted this Tweet, from The Green Living Room in the Woodlawn area of Chicago, just South of Hyde Park.

Today I shared this Tweet, pointing to an article written by the President of IFF (International Finance Fund?).

I've included hashtags and links in describing each of these Tweets, so you can go back and review each of these conversation threads. You can reTweet, LIKE, or even post your own comment, sharing information about your work the way I do.

You can also visit @tutormentorteam and scroll through Tweets I've posted over the past few weeks.  What I've shared in this article are just a small sample of the wide range of people I've reached out to via multiple Tweets. I've been doing this for the past 10 years!

I received some ReTweets, some LIKES, and a few followers from these. Over the past few years I've developed some pretty strong relationships, and cultivated a few new contributors who help fund my work. 

That's the goal.  I want people to use the ideas I share, even if I never hear from them.  

However a larger goal is that someone who reads my post and digs into my blog articles and web sites will step forward to put her name on the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC, with a major investment that brings it into a university, or some other structure, where it can be re-built, and reach a much larger network of people than what I've been able to reach.

These articles talk about "A New T/MC". Take some time to look through them.

It's a process. It takes time. It's an investment of time on my part. 

If you want to make a difference, start reading these.  Or start following me on Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Know the Network. Nudge the Network.

I started leading a volunteer-based tutor/mentor program in 1975 while starting an advertising career with the Montgomery Ward Corporation in Chicago.  What I learned over the next 15 years was that leaders constantly need to be reaching out to people with different talents and networks to help them do the work needed to sustain and grow the organization.

As I was learning this by running a volunteer base program I was also learning this from how we used weekly national advertising to attract customers to our 400 retail stories located in 40 different states. The graphic above visualizes the idea that it takes teams of people with different talents to help youth tutor, mentor and learning programs thrive. In a big city like Chicago, it takes many of these programs to reach just a fraction of the 200,000 or so kids who could benefit.

Talent needed - click here
At the right is a concept map that visualizes the talent needed to help an organization thrive.  Each of these nodes should link to social media or Linkedin profiles of people who are providing that talent in support of the organization's mission.

In the blue box at the top of this cMap is a link pointing to a similar map, which shows networks, rather than skills.   You need a mix of talent representing different networks.

Finding and recruiting people to fill these roles is an on-going challenge, that is especially difficult for smaller organizations who don't have major civic and/or business support.

I participated in two Twitter chats today which were in support of events held in Chicago which each attracted at least 200 civic and business leaders.  One was hosted by the Metropolitan Planning Council, with the Raj Chetty (see my July article) as keynote speaker. I show one Tweet from that event,  using #MPCLuncheon as the hashtag.

The second, held during the same time frame, was live streamed by the City Club of Chicago.  Here's a Tweet that announced the event.
For several years I've been encouraging event organizers to be more active in encouraging participants to connect on Twitter using a common hashtag.  At the same time I've also encouraged them to use network analysis tools like NodeXL to create a graphic showing who did participate and how they are connected to each other.

Today I posted a Tweet at the start of the event encouraging Metropolitan Planning Council organizers to do this.

Then later this afternoon I received a message from NodeXL with a map that they created showing participants in the #MPCLuncheon event. I show it below.

You can see this actual map, and view an interactive version, at this link.   

I think there are 25 nodes (Twitter users) on this map. That's far short of the 150-200 who were at the actual lunch event, or the potential audience who could have been following on line.  To make a comparison, visit the NodeXL gallery and view their collection of maps. Many with several hundred nodes. 

Update:  Here's an updated NodeXL map, from 9-20-2019 showing 43 users.  click here

I've posted several articles in the past showing how network analysis can help community organizers build a better understanding of who is participating in their events, and thus, also a better understanding of who is missing.

Connect those who can help
with those who need help.
Using this information I feel organizers can nudge the network to do learning, network building, donating, volunteering, voting, etc. and other things needed to build and sustain an effective organization.

They can also reach out to add new people based on what talents and networks are missing from their ecosystem.  Furthermore, they can use these maps to demonstrate a growing (or shrinking) participation over months and years.

I'll share this article on social media with the goal that some of the people who see it will a) embrace the idea and build it into future activities; or b) show me blog posts that illustrate how they are already doing this type of work.

Maybe some will even add me as a consultant to their planning teams to help them think through network building and engagement strategies like this.

Thanks to Valdis Krebs for the "Know the network. Nudge the Network." phrase.

If you've found value in this article please consider a contribution to help fund the Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC. Click here to learn more. 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Five Dot Challenge from #CLMOOC

On Twitter - click here
If you've followed my blog for a few years you have seen me point to the Connected Learning #clmooc network that I'm connected to on Twitter, Facebook and via blog articles.

For the past week or so I've seen this invitation to participate in a five-dot challenge, which is illustrated by Kevin Hodgson in the Tweet at the left.

What you've also seen if you've read past articles is that I usually connect these activities to work I'm doing.  So, my five-dot challenge graphic is shown below.

My five dots are shown on the 4-part strategy map.  
The Tutor/Mentor Connection piloted this strategy in 1993 and I've followed it since then. You can see it on the strategy page of my main web site.  I wrote several blog articles describing the 4-part strategy. Here's one. 

See intern visualizations
As I write my blog and share with educators and leaders of other youth tutor, mentor and learning programs in Chicago and other cities, one goal is that youth in these programs look at these articles, then create their own interpretations, using a variety of different media and communications formats.  Visit this page and see how interns from South Korean and US universities have interpreted the four part strategies of the Tutor/Mentor Connection (which I now lead via Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC).

I've never had enough support to do all that I've been trying to do, and have believed that youth in high school and colleges throughout the country could provide manpower and talent to lead Tutor/Mentor Connection-type strategies in their own communities.  Below is another version of the four part strategy, which in this case, shows work youth could be doing.

Look deeply and see ways youth and others can help - click here

While I've tried to inspire people to share what they find on my web sites, blogs and social media post, those who have been doing that are pretty scarce.  Visit this cMap page and you can view blog articles that show how some people have been doing this.

View here

Thus, I've been really impressed by how Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang has inspired dozens (probably more) of people to create videos telling their #MyYangStory.  The one shown at the left is just one that you will find if you search #yanggang on Twitter. 

I've not made a commitment to vote for Andrew Yang. What I'm saying is that I'm really impressed at how he has inspired so many other people to help share his message.

Imagine if that many people were sharing the ideas of the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute, LLC.

Would that result in more people helping well-organized non-school tutor, mentor and learning programs reach k-12 youth in high poverty neighborhoods of the USA and the world?

Would it share ideas and generate resources so that in five or ten years we'd find stories on thousands of web sites showing kids and volunteers who have had their lives transformed as a result of being part of these programs?

That's the goal.

Thus, my five dot story is intended to inspire such actions.  If you create a post, share it on Twitter with me at @tutormentorteam.  

Monday, September 09, 2019

Looking back 21 years - Webheads and Tutor/Mentor Connection

My wife complains that "I never throw anything away."  She's right. I'm a collector. We sold our house this spring and had to down-size. It was terribly painful for me.

This habit is especially true when it comes to the information I've learned from leading a volunteer based tutor/mentor program in Chicago for 35 years and from trying to help fill city neighborhoods with well-organized programs for the past 25 years.

This graphic is one of the first that I created in the early 1990s to show the type of information I was gathering and sharing - initially via print newsletters.  The challenge that I've always had (of many) is finding ways to help other people find and use the information I've been collecting.

It's not a challenge that is unique to myself.

Yesterday I joined in an on-line reunion, celebrating 21 years of a group called Webheads in Action.

Three original Writing for Webheads members, Vance Stevens, Michael Coghlan and Felix Zaniboni, convened in Zoom for a 21 year reunion. It started at 7:AM Chicago time, but late in the evening for the others. I joined in late.

Vance has been the prime mover in this group since it's beginning, so he created a blog article and posted it today, to recap the conversation.  I show the heading below, but am not going to try to recap all of the detailed information that Vance put in the blog, which recapped what was shared in the on-line session. 

Read Vance Stevens' Learning2Gether blog from 9-8-19
I really, really, really hope some of you will open the link and read Vance's article.  Look at how he is pointing to Webheads events from as early as 1998.  He's been generous in using the space to show how I've connected to Webheads since the early 2000s and shows one of the interviews he and I did together.  You can view the video on YouTube.

Innovation, creativity - cMap
What Vance is doing is showing people his collection of Webheads history, and in doing so, he's sharing ideas that I and others contributed during our interactions over the past 21 years.

At the right is a cMap showing one of four sections of the Tutor/Mentor Connection/Institute web library, which I started putting on-line in 1998. I'd been collecting some of this information as hard-copy publications since the 1970s.

Here's a screenshot of that section of the library.

Collaboration, innovation, knowledge management, mapping - click here
There are 443 links divided into six sub-sections.  Yesterday I finished opening every one of those links, checking to see if they still work, updating broken links and refreshing myself on why I added them to the library in the first place.

As I did this I shared some of the links on Twitter. Here's an example:

If you search @tutormentorteam on Twitter and scroll through my past Tweets you'll find many examples.  If you read Vance's blog, you'll see that he's doing the same thing in the way that he pointed at my Tweet about yesterday's event.

If you look at the graphic at the right, Vance, and myself, are the people in the middle, hosting information libraries and spending time on a regular basis helping other people find and use that information. I've been trying to teach others to take this role for many years.

Below is a cMap that illustrates some success.  I created this a few years ago to point to places where other people were writing about work I'm doing, to help facilitate understanding among a larger network of people.  Vance Stevens is one of the nodes on this map and I added a link to his blog.  Many people who I've met via the #clmooc group are also included, as are interns who worked with me from 2006 to 2015.

Connecting with others - open links on each node 

Many of my blog articles are pointing to the past in an effort to share information people can use to shape a brighter future for kids and families.  If you browse the list of articles in the cMap above (click here) you'll find many that talk about learning, network building, collaboration, etc. Most put the responsibility on the learner to do the walking and to create new content that does the sharing.

Want another example of what I'm talking about and asking you to do?  Take a look at this Tweet.

For the past month or so I've watched a growing number of people take turns sharing the ideas of Andrew Yang on Twitter, using #YangGang as one of their hashtags.  He and his campaign team have created content which they share via books and on his web site, and a growing number of others are creating new content to share these ideas.

Imagine being able to get kids and volunteers from multiple youth programs connected to each other in long-term communities like Webheads.  Then imagine them sharing their stories and talking about what it takes to build and sustain a long-term tutor/mentor program, using the same enthusiasm and frequency that #YangGang members are doing.

Would that result in more well-organized, long-term programs reaching k-16 youth in high poverty areas all over the country - or the world?

That's the goal. If you've read this, write about it. Share it. Create a video.

And, if you're able, send me a contribution, click here, to help me fund this work.