Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty, Time for Action Guys!

I'm launching this ONLINE MENTORING PROGRAM in time for Blog Action Day.

Poverty is present in many different ways and usually people relate poverty to its material manifestation (or lack thereof). I've been thinking for a long while now how to address the issue of "poverty in our education sector", NOT the physical stuff, but more on the learning side, specifically on internet literacy. I believe that lack of internet literacy is a form of poverty too and I can say that it's been an advocacy of mine to fight that. 

In the past 2 years I've had the privilege of seeing a lot of things and there was one question that nagged me for the longest time - how can I raise the internet literacy of our public school educators? 

I've been working with GILAS and CICT for sometime now and I've trained a good number of public school educators in the past 2 years and one of the things we discovered is that there were schools that have been connected to the internet but have only been using it for 2 hours a week.  2 HOURS PER WEEK is just the amount of time I spend on email in a day. 


Oh yeah, it's surprising but that's reality. I dug around for some answers and realized that what the educators who have gone through training need continuing education. They need someone who they could buzz and ask questions so they could continue learning. I realized this when I saw that a lot of educators who buzz me ask questions on how to do stuff (which I usually answer back with a URL they could read) eventually moved on to become internet champions on their own.

This happened because their lifestyle changed. I realized that if you want someone to become an internet champion, you have to make them addicted to it. They have to fall in love with using it. And that will never happen during a seminar nor a short-classroom discussion. Someone has to pull them in. Remember the time that your friend bugged you to start blogging? Or when Youtube first graced your monitor? Or when ten years ago you were looking for a better search engine and your friend told you to use Google? 

Yup, that's something YOU can do.

After many months of discussions and program definition (which I did not want to be complicated) with my friends from GILAS and the CICT we're finally ready to share and ASK HELP for a really out-of-the-box project that we want to get off the ground -

by Volunteers for Educators, 
to uplift the internet literacy of our country's public school educators

This online mentoring program was designed to be hip, quick and light - on both sides. We're just asking for a few minutes of your regular chat-time or email-time or Plurk/Twitter-time to spend time with a new chatmate err an educator. 

For more information about the program, go here.