REPRESENTATIVE RUBEN HINOJOSA AND XM RADIO NAMED ³CHAMPIONS OF YOUTH
National Network for Youth Symposium Presents Awards on Tuesday, January 29 at Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC Washington, DC--
National Network for Youth is proud to honor VIRGIN MOBILE with the Golden Pen Award in addition to REPRESENTATIVE RUBEN HINOJOSA and XM RADIO being recognized as Champions of Runaway and Homeless Youth. These awards honor those who use their mediums whether communications, the political arena, or media- to further educate about the plight of Runaway and Homeless Youth.
"Virgin Mobile has done an amazing job of raising the awareness level of Runaway and Homeless Youth in this past year," says Victoria Wagner, President and CEO of National Network for Youth. "Through their marketing efforts, the ReGeneration Campaign, and various partnerships, they have brought this issue to light in a way its never been seen before. We are so grateful for their dedication to youth."
Virgin Mobile has engaged this generation of youth to educate themselves about and be responsible for "their own". They hope to empower youth to make a difference by bringing together organizations that care about America's homeless children and connecting them with young people who want to help.
Representative Ruben Hinojosa is a tireless advocate working on behalf of runaway and homeless youth across the nation. His introduction of the Place to Call Home Act only served to illustrate his dedication to ending youth homelessness. Hinojosa has been quoted as stating: "It is incumbent upon all of us to build communities with the educational opportunities and support systems in place to help our youth become successful adults."
XM Radio will also be honored for their report on the Bob Edwards who featuring various voices and champions of runaway and homeless youth in a national arena.
All will receive their honors at the "Champions of Youth" dinner at the National Network for Youth¹s annual Symposium 2008: A Blueprint for the Future, on Tuesday, January 29, 2008, at 6:30PM at The Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert St, NW, Washington, DC.
National Network for Youth spokesperson, Chris "Kazi" Rolle, will present these awards. A former homeless youth, Kazi¹s changed his life at age 18 when he committed himself to youth issues through writing, working in schools and shelters, and finally creating the Hip Hop Project (hiphopproject.org), an award-winning artist development program. His life story is the focus of a feature-length documentary, "The Hip Hop Project," executive produced by Bruce Willis and Queen Latifah.
There are 2.5 million disconnected, unaccompanied and/or homeless youth in
our country. Founded in 1975, National Network for Youth (www.nn4youth.org
For more information on Symposium, visit http://www.nn4youth.org
* Lifetime Achievement Award- Mitch Weynand, LifeWorks, Austin, TX
* Executive Leadership Award of Excellence - Jim Braun, Youth in Need, St. Louis
* Agency of the Year Award- Green Chimneys- New York
* Advocacy Spirit Award- Dee Richter Florida Network of Youth Services, FL.
* Youth Worker of the Year - Nidia Escobar- Children¹s Hospital, Los Angeles
* Youth Worker of the Year- Shari McPeek Family Resources, Inc., Pinellas County, FL.
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
Had an awesome time in Raleigh, NC presenting two workshops for the NC DOE state conference on homelessness. Met some incredible people with so much heart. They spend their time at work making the world a better place. Skyped in Steve Hargadon to talk about easy and cheap ways to create Internet ready computer labs for our most marginalized populations. I need to get some grant money for a few ideas I have related to enabling the impoverished with 21st Century skils. Anyone have a resource?
Speaking of Funding
The People, Yes is about hitting the streets (shelters, jails and other avenues found on the other side of the digital divide) to find new voices to add flavor to a local community blogosphere.
Project Vision Statement & Potential Social Impact:
More than ten years into this Age of Information, large populations of people exist around the world without either the means or know-how to operate online, thereby greatly reducing their individual opportunities to participate in a wired, networked, global economy.
Just as important (if not more so) as community conversations move from town halls into the online space, these same men and women become sequestered from political, topical and personal conversations that shape their neighborhoods, towns, cities and districts.
With a lower socio-economic status and a intense daily grind to simply keep afloat, people can become lost in the shuffle, marginalized, and in many cases, forced to participate in a service-based economy in order to survive, let alone advance.
Who has time to dream or simply hear their own voice within the context and constraints of these conditions?
The People, Yes has similar aspirations to Global Voices, but with two significant differences:
We're creating both an organization and a platform to develop and extend community relationships from online to the real and back again. By enabling people who are interested in sharing their personal experiences and POV's with the world via a collaborative blog -- and one day a social network -- we hope to bring attention to an under-represented slice of local community.
Our hope is that the entire community will benefit from the contribution of unheard voices, perspectives and dreams. As new voices join the mix, stereotypes will begin to shift, issues can be examined in a new light and cross-community consensus can be forged out of a newfound mesh of diverse online personalities.
The People, Yes is attempting to empower people (within Greensboro, NC) with the skills to digitize their voice. We're working actively in the homeless community to get people to publish from any of the library branches. Down the road, we'll expand into other digital divide communities (e.g. the jail system), as well as open up the platform for any Greensboro resident to publish their voice. The goal is to expand the participants in our local online conversation and create a more cohesive sense of community and shared humanity.
Other Poverty Resources
THE STATE OF AMERICAN POVERTY
Numerous reports have been released over the last several months that discuss increasing rates of poverty across all age and demographic characteristics. The studies consistently demonstrate that the rate of child poverty has increased, leaving millions hungry, unsheltered, and lacking adequate health care and child care. Below are links* to the reports. Most surveys indicate that families seeking assistance are unable to make ends meet, whether they are working or receiving welfare or other government benefits. In addition, communities where people in poverty live are strained to meet demands for food, shelter, health care, mental health services, and other assistance that this population requires. Many requests for assistance go unmet.
Awareness and Outreach Projects for Schools and Organizations:
Economic Policy Institute Resources pertaining to the current status of workers and wagesPulling apart, a state-by-state analysis of income trends
out into the world today and love the people you meet. Let your presence light
new light in the hearts of people.
Thinking more about the homeless issue and how to make an impact. Steve Hargadon and I have been throwing ideas around for awhile now. I plan to Skype him into my two workshops tomorrow at Preparing for Walking Home Together: Steps to a Practical Approach- NC's Conference on Homelessness to talk about using his Public Web Stations idea for setting up free Public Access computer stations for next to nothing with very minimal upkeep. Wouldn't it be cool to create immediate, affordable, maintenance free access for the homeless. Steve has figured a way to do it.
Web 2.0 and its Potential for Breaking Generational Poverty
When I speak at conferences about homelessness one of the things I emphasize is the potential of the Web for helping enable those who need it most. There are lots of great examples of the homeless who are starting to realize the potential for using these tools as a way of climbing out. Now we just need to get homeless service providers and those of us interested in helping on board and connected.
The Role of Libraries?
Take a look at this interesting article,
Other Ideas and Sites
http://www.sparesomechange.com/ is a search engine dedicated to helping homeless find resources created by a former homeless guy.
Austin Free-Net has a cool idea. Austin Free-Net tries to involve computers in the everyday lives of high poverty citizens. Through showing them how to look up bus schedules, use email or even research potential employers, Free-Net integrates the Web into their lives." Austin Free-Net is attempting to arrange classes on using the Web and software while people wait in line each week at the food pantry in hopes that more disadvantaged members of society will get online.
The Homeless Guy
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth
National Alliance to End Homelessness
I am preparing for a couple workshops on homelessness I will be giving next week for the NC DOE and came across these two videos. Both caused me to stop and think... reflection is a good thing. Let's see if they cause you to reflect as well.
The one about what we model to children was particularly powerful. As teachers we are also sending messages to our students everyday through our actions. Children see...Children do. What are you modeling to your students? What about your instruction communicates the values and dispositions you want them emulating as they become lifelong learners?
At the beginning of the third millennium a man began collecting cast-off computers in the corner of his dining room in southeast Portland.
People who have access are living in a different society than those who do not have access. It seems the more social change is happening on cutting edge of technology, the more we are leaving the needy in society behind that social curve.
Free Geek is doing something about it. Working for 24 hours at Free Geek will give you a free computer-(adoption). Build six computers and you keep the 6th computer for yourself. (education)
Free geek is a community....run by a community council.
After you check out this video...get your mind around the power of Open Source to solve resource issues by checking out this.
Will says that networks are crucial and the best way to stay current is to network with other passionate learners who want to learn the things you do. As educators we must have a willingness to share and be transparent. He tells us that recognizing patterns is huge. As educators we should look at the distributed conversations that are out there -- which are not linear-- and synthesize ideas, pick out patterns of ideas and connect them.
Why should we be doing this?
Because as educators we are modeling how we learn and act in the 21st Century. Our students learn more by watching what we do- than what we say. When teachers model how they learn form networks, then that has a huge role in bringing technologies to students and getting them prepared for a 21st century learning environment.
This is so true for students of poverty or even for students whose parents (regardless of socio-economic status) are not connected at home. Because if they are not modeling after you in the safety net of your classroom- where are they discovering how to grow and learn in the new technology landscape?
Ask yourself- are the current methods and curriculum being used at your school going to equip a high poverty student to climb out of the circumstance that has been forced upon them? Will sequential, text based delivery of state mandated curriculum truly help your most needy students become literate in the 21st century?
I think you will see very quickly that if for no other reason than the changing demographic of students we are seeing in our classrooms, it is past time to make principled changes in the way we model learning to our students. Using technology as a medium for communication and collaboration isn't a choice or option any longer. 21st Century teaching and learning needs to be happening NOW. These kids can't wait on policy changes. Having access to a positive force (you) and gaining the knowledge of how to learn and connect in their world is going to be the difference between being locked in generational poverty or breaking out.
The way I see it- teachers have a moral responsibility to help these students; the ones who will only learn how to make these connections in the classroom. As educators, it is our responsibility to help them recognize patterns and build on the scholarship of others while learning to access the information they need to become effective and literate in a global society. This is at the core of learning in the 21st Century.
Why should teachers unlearn what they are so vested in (their content) and expand their own learning horizon? Because if you do not show your students the power of virtual networks who will?
Will tells us that learning is no longer an event-- but occurs any time any place- 24/7. That teachers who utilize connections made online become connective learners; they begin to understand and contextualize the changes that need to take place within our schools. Teachers are empowered and equipped to be change agents.
I challenge you to become the strong vital voice for children who otherwise would go unheard- children of poverty. Teach them how to change the circumstance in which they find themselves by giving them the ability to connect.
Change is Tough
Will talked about this moment in time being a disruptive period, as most traditonal media is being challenged. We can all be journalist and report on the events of life. We can produce content and share content in expansive ways that is changing the role of information in our society. The social nature of these technologies and the connections made around them is very disruptive to traditonally held beliefs about how to act and work within our traditional social contexts.
For a child whose circumstance has conspired against them- this is great news. They are no longer held back and forced to take the hand that society and circumstance has dealt them. They can be empowered through access in the connected teacher's classroom. Connected so they can learn and grow beyond what you have time to teach them. Most homeless kids are with a teacher for such a short time. Rather than trying to "catch them up" help them learn by giving them the skills to network, to find resources and postive mentors. That way, when the next move happens in the middle of the night, they are still connected and will not suffer by losing ground. Email address do not have to change with each physical move.
Leverage the Opportunity
Connectivism offers so many opportunities to leverage change as an empowerment strategy for those who need it most. It is only limited by our own resistance to innovation and unwillingness to redesign the way we do things in the classroom.
Just think if we removed time as a constant and began to think of it as a variable (something that was flexible) and instead learning became the constant- (students could take their time to master the content through their passions and perferred learning styles) they wouldnt have to keep step with a calendar to dictate what and when they learn.
What if we planned for extensions of learning outside of the classroom and spent time syndicating content for students to manipulate and contextualize in collaboration with others via the web? What if the exam was an application of the student-centered learning that resulted in a product that proved mastery of the objectives? What if teachers and students were able to be motivated to learn through their passion and strengths?
Will puts the responsibility to change on the teacher. It goes back to what I have always said-- you can't give away what you do not own. As connected teachers we own the skills- and as a result we can give them to our students. Need a reason to get connected? How about-- for the children's sake?
Had the exciting priviledge of being interviewed by Steve Hargadon for his EdTalkLive show.
EdTechLIVE's weekly webcast interviews series by Steve which focus on educational technology. His goal is to produce a library of recordings that provide good, brief introductions to different educational technologies that can be implemented in the K-12 school environment.
I was most impressed by his interview style which resulted not only in an effective exchange of information, but his pacing enable me to throttle the rate at which I answered-- a new experience for me, as often passion takes over when I talk about this topic and I talk way too fast. :)
For those of you who do not know Steve, he has his hands in many incredible projects.
Here are the show notes (from Steve's blog) for our interview as well as the links to the podcasts. Please share your reactions in comments. I'd love to hear your take on what we discussed.