The VISTA member provided and assited with an array of services and programs, including direct training to youth participants, development of training manuals and materials, website design and development, community outreach and recruitment, development of program materials including brochures, posters, and mailers, as well as other administrative duties.
Our VISTA member compiled a catalogue of past and present programs and descriptions, helped move our website to a new design based on open source Drupal software, helped set up web hosting with other non-profits, developed training manuals and materials, and taught a graphic design course to youth, which we had never done before here at PCTV.
This project will strengthen both our capacity to deliver services to our member organizations and simultaneously encourage them to share knowledge and best practices among themselves by connecting them, encouraging collaboration, and disseminating content and analyses through social media tools and technologies. The VISTA staffer will further develop our social networking capabilities, broadening and deepening our engagement with people through these interfaces. They are absolutely crucial to keep the organization lively and useful, and draw new members in. Social media is rapidly becoming a core demand that people want and need as part of a membership of a national network that seeks to bring organizations together.
1. Manage and contribute to the 2009-10 Technology Infrastructure plan, which will continue to build the capacity of our members’ to connect and work with each other more fully.
2. Work in collaboration with program staff to create new content and interactive areas of the NAMAC website; edit and post web content regularly to keep it fresh and relevant; maintain the website and its technical needs.
3. Work with staff to set a social media strategy, and build out NAMAC’s capacity to reach members and the public through social media tools.
4. Work with NAMAC staff to pilot a series of webinars on the use of social media tools.
5. Expand and publish NAMAC’s web-based toolkits and guides to build capacity of our members’ organizations.
6. Work with staff to engage and reach out to members by communicating with them regularly through social media platforms; and develop metrics for NAMAC-based website and social networking usage.
Donna completed several significant web-based graphic design and technical projects during her assignment with NAMAC. She has significantly built the capacity of NAMAC’s online interactivity and resource-sharing to reach and assist members and the public around the country and globally.
Donna’s primary focus has been on developing the interactivity of the NAMAC website, in particular the Idea Exchange. This entails identifying which actions/networks are key for building our online presence and in building strong relationships with a team of bloggers who represent a cross-section of our online community, in terms of region, discipline, generation, and other important demographic criteria.
We have received increased traffic to our website, and conduct most of our membership business via the website: from conference and event registration to promotion and marketing, to resource-sharing, news and analysis across the field. The new look and architecture that Donna instituted has branded NAMAC as a leading web presence and has integrated well with our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube social media platforms.
Not only did Donna meet our goal to redesign the website look, but she exceeded it. She gave the site a look that is striking and refined, and easy to work with by any new OCM. She worked out Drupal bugs, and brought Drupal developers in as consultants to upgrade the site to the current Drupal iteration. She interfaced with them throughout the changeover process. - Jack Walsh, VISTA Supervisor
We look to CTC Vistas to develop connections between our development team and the communities they serve. In regards to the Open Media Project, this means building strong systems for handling and documenting communication as well as educating participants on the framework.
1. Manage documentation of the Open Media Project, interacting with developers and end-users to ensure that documentation provides the desired level of accessibility and access to our tools and model for organizations hoping to replicate our approach.
2. Work with developers to assist in the integration of their tools at Denver Open Media and partner stations.
3. Work with clients and members to test and provide feedback on the tool-set.
#1. All Open Media Project modules released and updated, including the install profile available at http://www.drupal.org/project/open_media. Along with the module updates, John spent significant time educating the community on the various pieces, as well as improving the documentation available at http://www.openmediaproject.org for the entire module suite. John was helped in this endeavor by our development team.
#2. John helped us work through our first official Open Media Project consulting endeavor with the Bay Area Video Coalition. While this project did not succeed to completion, much of the process was documented by John including budgets, meetings, objectives, successes and failures which is already influencing our subsequent projects.
#3. Now that we are a few months beyond the end of John’s vistaship, I can say with confidence that we succeeded to a large extent in community adoption of the toolset. At this point, 3 of the original beta partners are continuing to implement and further develop the Open Media Project tools and discussion continues weekly at http://groups.drupal.org/open-media-project. A good portion of the success should be attributed to John, as he served as the project manager and primary community contact over the past two years.
John did an excellent job of providing a bridge between our technology department and our own Public Access Television station (Denver Open Media). The relationship started as John began volunteering and participating at DOM with our station director. This relationship continued to improve over the two years John was here, and many systematic changes were made that continue on – the most significant are our producer website training sessions, as well as a consistent focus as a department on website usability.
The Corps member will work closely with both PIFVA and Termite TV staff to analyze their technology plans, develop strategies and priorities, and implement the plans into concrete and visible results. The VISTA will move work develop websites, social media strategies, and online database/archiving system for both PIFVA and Termite TV.
The project moved forward with great difficulty as a result of skills-mismatches between the Corps member and the organization’s needs. At the end a new interactive website was developed with the assistance of outside developers.
Develop capacity of our two community technology centers focusing on youth digital media programs, through volunteer recruitment, digital media curriculum,and volunteer training. Establish an online repository (knowledge base) for both internal documentation as well as resources shared by the community. San Diego Community Technology Coalition. Improve the quality of workshops, trainings, and resources offered to CTCs, and implementing more rigorous evaluation measures. Develop, in conjunction with the SDCTC directors and advisory council, three proposals for continued funding of SDCTC activities.
Morgan created a digital media committee composed of diverse community members, planned 3 large digital storytelling nights cumulatively drawing over 300 attendees, and created a digital toolkit which includes training on how to create digital stories.
Morgan helped the San Diego Community Technology Coalition move from a very static website, to a drupal/civic space website which allows for staff to enter data in the site and for community members to search a GIS based maps to find CTCs near them. He also helped to establish many community collaborations, in particular where SDCTC is now placed to help San Diego build it’s capacity for free wi-fi access in our underserved communities.
Morgan also helped set-up a new computer lab at our Youth Housing Project which serves 23 formerly homeless youth.
For SDCTC, Morgan brought together some of the more cutting edge technology advocates to our Annual Symposium and to several workshops put on throughout the year. He helped open the eyes of other Community Technology Centers to how they could use technology to advocate for their clients.
Ben will serve in a capacity building role related to the social network and technical infrastructure of the DigitalBicycle project. This will include some work in PHP/Drupal, working on user interface and workflow issues, assisting in the development of custom Linux installs for organizational “seeds”, and serving as a liaison with partner organizations. Writing will be a key part of Ben’s service, including documentation, training materials, and grant application materials. He may also serve as a representative of the DigitalBicycle at conferences and meetings, and may be asked to participate in presentations and panel discussions.
Ben successfully created a content moderation module for Drupal using PHP for comments, users, and submitted content. Ben also created an Amazon Lists type module, that allowed users to create lists of things like on Amazon, and get them in an RSS feed.
Ben also did a huge amount of outreach and networking for the “DigitalBicycle” project. He spoke on the New Media Distribution panel at the B&H Photo conference in NYC and at the Beyond Broadcast Conference.
Ben also created logos and graphics for “DigitalBicycle” using inkscape.
MAIN is currently seeking an AmeriCorps VISTA member to serve as Webmaster, helping maintain web content on multi-platform network operating center with system tools that include Linux, NT, Apple OS and HTML, Drupal and Civicspace. Additional assignments include working at MAIN CTC/public access sites located in Texas Workforce Center and Bastrop Public Library, plus outreach efforts to engage underserved community members.
As an unfunded 501c3 offering free online support for other nonprofit groups, we have to strive for powerful but low-cost means to deliver services. Nick has helped completely overhaul our online operations, converting some key servers and sites to new automated Content Management Systems (CMS) software, esp. drupal and civicspace. This conversion has proved very complicated and we have a long way left to go, but without VISTA help it simply would have been unthinkable.
Two examples of productive outcomes are a new national community ICT resource project and a local community writing project . Though far from perfect they’re good programs that would never exist without our VISTA volunteer.
Nick helped completely overhaul our online operations, converting some key servers and sites to new Content Management Systems software, esp. drupal and civicspace. Though the very newness of the software has caused unplanned complications and delays, we’re managing to create a great many new content sections and features.
This year we had a number of major accomplishments with AJ McGuire, including establishing a new course at the Social Justice Academy called Committee, that has added a core of projects for teens to complete in after school. After school projects for example, are incorporating Action Research principles that allow students to examine issues such as Global Warming and it’s impact on energy consumption and lifestyles, and equity in education in the Boston Public Schools and at the Social eeJustice Academy. The after school Mosaic program screened their videos for the entire student body in March, and we continued to make connections with new teachers and students both during school and after school. We have increase the number of teens participating in After School to 17. Our program has expanded to three full days per week. Two of our teens from the Social Justice Academy After School continued to work in our Summer Intensive at the Boston Neighborhood Network (BNN) in the Mall of Roxbury, where AJ was the lead program developer. Working in teams of 5 with three other team leaders, AJ helped to develop the curriculum, developed a web site workspace where projects could be posted and created a web based project tracking system based on the Drupal programming language.
Both of our VISTAs have been very dedicated and resourceful in supporting the media lab after school initiatives. They have found themselves being passionate about our mission to help teens develop creative, multidisciplinary media and education projects that foster teamwork and communication skills, community building, insight into critical issues, and ways to express those issues to others.
OLLIE, Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education
The Oregon Learning Lab for Information Education, also known as OLLIE, is a collaborative effort between Portland Community Media and Metro East Community Media to meet the media education and technology needs of under-served youth, schools, and community-based organizations in Multnomah County, Oregon. OLLIE provides media literacy, tools and training to a variety of young people by bringing multimedia technology into the classroom.
The VISTA will work with the OLLIE coordinator, educators from Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television, and area schools and community centers to meet the goals of the OLLIE project.
Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:
• Learn and be able to teach the OLLIE curriculum and equipment
• Participate in OLLIE productions as a trainer
• Communicate with OLLIE Coordinator regarding scheduling
• Keep a personal schedule of OLLIE training responsibilities
• Arrive at OLLIE projects on time and prepared
• Working with community partners to plan successful OLLIE projects and events
• Developing youth outreach and education efforts of Portland Community Media and Multnomah Community Television.
• Participate in OLLIE maintenance and development
• Research and submit OLLIE media works to
International, national and local film festivals
In developing OLLIE’s digital distribution strategy, Gariet has achieved three major accomplishments.
First, Gariet brought the OLLIE program and Portland Community Media into the Youth Video Exchange Network (YVXN) as a steering partner. OLLIE’s participation in YVXN has allowed us to share broadcast quality student work with other youth media centers around the country, as well as acquire youth media content to broadcast on our own channels.
In parallel to his work with NYMAP, Gariet also researched and set up a blip.tv site for the OLLIE program. This site allows us to share our videos with others at any time, and in turn allows our visitors to post the videos on their websites and blogs.
Finally, Gariet developed a website for the project using the Drupal content management system. This site provides a comprehensive resource about the program for the communities we serve, and includes a searchable video database. Through his research and work with Drupal and blip.tv for our youth project, Gariet has set a course for the Media Center as a whole. Recently a staff member expressed that Gariet’s ability to explain the benefits and values of these technologies to others led to the media center to develop a digital distribution plan that incorporated the lessons he has learned. Gariet’s work has also had an impact on the larger community, including interesting and attracting a local foundation to provide operational funding for our project.
“Gariet’s technology skills and ability to learn and teach new technologies has been an extremely valuable asset to the OLLIE project. Gariet is also an excellent teacher. He is able to engage and inspire his students as they plan and create their video projects. Gariet’s positive attitude about working with this project and VISTA is enjoyed by those who work with him. His commitment to helping others and the value of youth media is appreciated.”
- Laura Craig-Bennett, supervisor
Goal 1: Increase the capacity of rural communities and the organizations that serve them to utlize new information technologies for community development endeavors.
Goal 2: Assist in maintaining and improving on organization’s technology capacity
Goal 3: Develop and maintain a housing policy clearinghouse and searchable database for communities and community based organizations that are looking to adopt policies that will increase the stock of decent affordable housing.
In February Cal Rural Housing completed working on a 3 month project with Fresno County Community Development Division in which we provided technical assistance in developing an electronic database to track their CDBG expenditures. The County had never tracked these expenditures other then in a word document. Rebecca inputted the information we obtained in a word document into Excel, analyzed, charted and developed maps for the department. We then provided maps for a presentation to the Board of Supervisors that shows expenditures by community and by district (attached). The County should now be able to more easily track Federal funding using this database and produce charts and map in a more timely fashion. Rebecca spent a majority of her time revamping our website and upgrading our Rural Toolbox. She upgraded our old site using Drupal and developed a searchable database of more than 130 California Inclusionary Housing programs, the first of its kind in the US. The database provides summaries of characteristics for each policy. Users are able to search for these summaries by jurisdiction name or by more than 30 other variables. Rebecca also developed an introductory tutorial on using open-source desktop GIS (MapWindow) that can be used as either a GIS viewer or an advanced should be live by August-September.