Service Learning (90)

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While community issues — as well as those that exist on larger scales — are frequently not addressed due to lack of resources, higher education in particular is likely to focus its attention on abstractions and thus not notice — let alone understand — the myriad issues that are literally all around them. Service-learning is a pedagogy that connects traditional learning in the classroom to practical projects in and with the community. The people who are the most affected by the digital divide typically need to access information from nonprofit organizations. However, most nonprofit organizations do not have the time, personnel, or skills to create and maintain web sites. Thus, the service-oriented information needed by lower-income community members is often not online. What is needed is a pool of skilled, but cost- free, assistance. One place to find this pool is on college campuses with service-learning programs. Students could create and/or update web sites for local non-profit organizations, train agency representatives to maintain their own sites, and/or train community members to access and evaluate online information.

Text: Norman Clark