I still replay the following interaction in my mind even after several years. I was attending my son’s holiday party at school and was in a conversation where a couple of parents were describing their rich classroom volunteer experiences. They asked me what I did when I volunteered and I said because of work, I don’t have the opportunity to engage regularly in the classroom. Insert “the look” and awkward pause.
I should have been elated that these parents were willing to give of their time and energy. After all, it takes an army to help children learn and grow, but something inside of me sort of snapped. One part jealousy that I didn’t have workday flexibility, one part mom guilt for not being there regularly in the classrooms and/or field trips, and one part irritation about the judgement stares… And maybe I should mention I’m in the education field. Imagine how many parents have this experience and yet have no way to do anything about it? Well, not anymore!
We live in a digital age where we can make connections 24/7. Why can’t we apply that concept to encourage more adults to become active in the lives of our students? Let’s erase the fixed schedule and allow adults to participate in anytime anywhere volunteering! We can ask for, train, and use Digital Volunteers to accomplish our learning goals!
I’m excited to be working with an amazing group of educators at Google Summit – Missouri on Saturday, July 11. I put myself in the audience’s position and really thought about what I would want to walk away with and tried to develop materials that would satisfy and engage participants.
What you will find on our Digital Volunteer Site:
Epic Volunteers must receive a HUGE shout out, going to Kellie Konrad and Dawn Bennett, both teachers at EPiC 3rd Grade! These amazing educators were willing to partner in this process and make Digital Volunteers come to life!
Tools and Resources are at the bottom of each page sharing the tools used to design the web page. Note ALL resources were free.
Google Summit Challenges are fun ways to engage in professional learning and I can’t wait to crowdsource the commitments educators will make to engage Digital Volunteers!
Digital Volunteers 1.0 is perhaps a more reflective title for this site. Change is constant and the conversations we will have at this point next year will not be the same as right now. As we learn and grow, this site will be used as a landing space for the work we are doing over the course of the year.
By no means is this resource perfect, but it is a good start to sharing our Digital Volunteer story: