Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Engaging youth during Covid19 time at home

this graphic from
Genius Hour post
Earlier this week my #clmooc friend Sherri Edwards, a retired educator from Washington State, shared a link to an article titled "How You Can Support Genius Hour at Home".  I took a look and found it to be a creative way to engage student learners. So I'm sharing it.

In my email I received a message from a 10th grade student at Walter Peyton High School in Chicago. In response to Covid19, he and other 10th grade students have created Connect Chicago, "as a place to build friendships, supplement learning for CPS students, and improve the daily lives of those in need during a time of difficulty."

I agreed to help draw attention to their site, which I'm doing with this article, and my May 2020 email newsletter.

Open links under each
graphic - click here
As I learned about the student group at Walter Peyton I sent back an invitation, which I've also given multiple times to the #clmooc network of educators, and others, to engage students in learning the Tutor/Mentor Connection 4-part problem solving strategy and apply the process through their own actions.

At the right is a cMap I created to show some of the projects student interns have done in the past, which should be starting points to inspire what future students might do.

I shared this invitation last week, in this article.

Over the past few weeks I've seen dozens of articles showing how Covid19 has a greater negative impact on low-income people and people of color.  Here are just a few:

From The Economist: 4/27/2020 Closing schools for covid-19 does lifelong harm and widens inequality

From the World Bank: 4/15/2020  Poverty and Distributional Impacts of COVID-19: Potential Channels of Impact and Mitigating Policies

Human Rights Watch: 3/19/2020 US: Address Impact of Covid-19 on Poor

From Forbes: 3/29/2020 - 3 Ways Low-Income People Will Feel Heavy Impact Of Covid-19 Aftershocks

From the Shriver Center for Poverty Law: 3/23/2020 COVID-19 – Crisis Advocacy for Systemic Change

From Policy Link: 4/29/2020 - COVID-19 and Race Commentary

Anyone can do a web search and find dozens of similar articles. 

I've been aggregating articles that show inequality, racism and poverty in Chicago and America for many years in this section of the Tutor/Mentor library in an effort to make  it easier for people to find this type of information.

Description of 4-part strategy
Step 1 of the 4-part strategy that I've followed since 1993 involves collecting information and making it available to others.

Step 2 focuses on building greater daily public awareness so a growing number of people look at this information. Step 3 involves helping people understand the information in the library and learn how to apply it through their own actions.

Step 4 is the result of the first three steps. People apply the information in specific  places in a long-term effort to help kids move from poverty to jobs and lives beyond the negative grasps of poverty.

Students could be aggregating links to articles showing the negative impact Covid19 has on people in high poverty areas, then could be creating their own projects to share their understanding of the problem with others.

Look at ways students might communicate what they learn. click here
If you read the Genius Hour article imagine  how ever step could be applied to learning more about poverty, inequality and race issues in America and the world and actions each student could be taking throughout their lifetime to reduce these problems.  Think of how my 4-part strategy might align with the steps shown on the Genius Hour article.

Find your passion.
start here

There are other issues that students might research. I created the graphic at the right a few years ago to show how some of these issues are presented in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and others show up on my race-poverty map.

None will be solved in a short time. All require the on-going and growing involvement of people throughout the world.  What better time to begin that journey than now when kids are not in school and educators and parents are looking for ideas to ignite their passion for on-line learning.

The more students read about the problems, look at work done by other students, and think through how they would communicate this through their own work, the more some will build a deep commitment to solving these programs and a life-long commitment to doing the work.

Connect people who can help
to places where help is needed.
What I add to this process is an on-going role of connecting people who can help (resource providers, volunteers, media, etc) to the information base, then directly to places where help is needed, using maps to assure a distribution to all places, not just a few high profile places.  This vision reduces the role of the "middleman" in deciding "who gets help" and increased the responsibility for resource providers to educate themselves and choose who to help, based on what they learn, and what a service organization shares on their website. 

I hope that many will use the articles on my blog and web sites as starting points and will share with me work that they and their students are doing. I'd be happy to talk with anyone about this idea.  Connect with me on one of these social media sites

4/30/2020 update - here's article from Denver Post Hispanic students disproportionately lack internet access. The problem is not limited to Chicago. click here

As we look at problems, look at paths to solutions, too.

5/3/2020 - How to Create Real Lasting Change After Covid-19 - RSA article. click here

5/3/2020 - Design for human and planetary health: a transdisciplinary approach to sustainability - click here (as you read this think of how this thinking might begin to be learned by kids, as early as elementary school)

5/3/2020 - The High Schooler Who Became a COVID-19 Watchdog - Fead about the high school  junior who recognized the Covid19 crisis in December 2019 and built a web site to aggregate information.  This is EXACTLY the type of student initiative and talent I think needs to be inspired and released in schools across the world.  click here to read article

3/23/2021 update - "Helpful education resources to teach students about the pandemic" from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning website.  click here

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