Wednesday, February 2, 2011

T/MC: A Virtual University

Along with many Chicagoans, I am surviving "Snowpocalypse 2011" and "Thundersnow" by working from home today. Amazingly although I am stuck at home, I do not feel cut off from the world as I may have during a snow day of decades past. Thanks to the internet, I can still connect with my co-workers, visit T/MC websites, and correspond with people through emails.

T/MC's sites make it so that anyone from anywhere in the world can access the information--regardless of location, remoteness, and even weather conditions. This type of online, equal access learning and capacity building seems to be the wave of the future. Resources like podcasts and TED talks are great examples of how the internet makes learning available to more people in more places (and not limited to those who can afford more traditional educational opportunities).

In many ways, what Tutor/Mentor Connection has developed online is a "virtual university" for people who want to learn all there is to know about creating, implementing, and supporting tutoring and mentoring programs. Many articles and presentations have been created by Tutor/Mentor Connection, but our sites aren't limited to T/MC ideas. We also compile the articles, blogs, website links, and best practices of others from all over the world. This animated Resource Map is a good starting place to navigate the vast array of information on T/MC sites.

Dan Bassill's recent "Decade Ending" blog articles outline what it has taken to create this type of "virtual tutor/mentor university." It has taken a lot of dedication and work, without nearly the level of funding that similar tutor/mentor networks in smaller cities rely on. Tutor/Mentor Connection is constantly seeking ways to get corporate and foundation partnership so that we can continue offering online learning opportunities that lead to more high quality programs for at-risk youth reaching more neighborhoods and communities.

In his recent blog posts, Dan Bassill encourages people to spend a bit of time during their snow days to puruse the resources on T/MC sites. This is a good opportunity to see what we're all about and spread the word to others!

Stay warm and safe!

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