What are our roles as leaders in the tutor mentor connection? That was one of the questions on task yesterday during a meeting with stakeholders at Cabrini. Today, I want to pose this same question to you, reader.
I learned in this meeting that the T/MC web portal provides an outlet to share information, communicate, and build knowledge. T/MC maps networks to see the overall correlation in how groups and ideas develop across the spectrum of youth programming. There are number of ways the T/MC web portal allows users to stay connected to youth programs throughout Chicago and also illustrates how various organizations outside of Illinois can get involved by continuing to build partnerships. One of my favorite online tools that I learned about from the meeting is the T/MC OHATS (or Organizational History and Accomplishments Tracking Systems) which allows users to view and document actions/endorsements that support the mission of building more tutoring and mentoring programs locally and nationally. You can get started by registering at http://www.vattsystems.com/ohats/login.aspx
or by joining the OHATS-Metrics group here at the T/MC Connection social network. I personally can’t wait to see how people are organizing around the city about this issue. Using OHATS will make that easier for me.
Here at Cabrini, the staff encourages volunteers, mentors, and tutors to get connected, share knowledge, and expose others to ideas. There is need for us to find balance between taking advantage of online learning through social networking and other forms of technology, while also building one-on-one relationships in person on a foundation of trust. Though social networking is not meant to, and should not take the place of in person interaction, it provides a means of expression in presenting ourselves, our interests, and our values while also creating a platform to share and collect information most important to us.
The challenge mostly on my hands is analyzing this use of information in order to answer questions about how we communicate and navigate through ideas shared online. Since the internet became widely accessible, youth have been learning to use the web to tell their stories of involvement in ways that can be easily compared to complex productivity reports of the business world…
They work hard at to get their stories told and expressed.
The staff members at Cabrini Connections have been contacted by over 29 schools to present and offer information about youth tutoring and mentoring services. Serving youth by building partnerships with these schools has changed the way the staff views what it means to be an educator in contemporary society. In a way, every person who has a stake in tutoring and mentoring programming is an educator. The knowledge is out there; often it is free if you can find it electronically, and as much as we are educators to youth we should be educators to one another. The more people you are connected to, the more knowledge you can share.
Upon concluding the meeting, we also discussed relationships between business and non-profit organizations that may be framed around different missions, yet also allow members and staff to create innovative ways to collaborate on similar issues that are important in our communities. Frequently, businesses and NPOs committed to progress learn how to and reframe the values of what their organizations stand for in order to re-evaluate and improve their goals. This process calls for re-envisioning and questioning all of the different ways that connect us to the larger issue.
Renovation has a purpose and needs to be supported. Let’s continue to support one another by sharing resources and using the web as a tool for education.