elearning course about constituent management and databases developed by corps member Colin Pizarek. Colin did all media creation and production work including all the graphics, animation, and audio recording of the narrative. Colin also developed the use of elearning tools at his host organization, Idealware.
Take the course here: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/957/p/salsa/event/common/public/?e…
elearning course about using Facebook or Twitter developed by corps member Colin Pizarek. Colin did all media creation and production work including all the graphics, animation, and audio recording of the narrative. Colin also developed the use of elearning tools at his host organization, Idealware.
Take the course here: https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/957/p/salsa/event/common/public/?e…
In response to our rapid membership growth, we saw a rise in the demand for new products and services and realized the need for support tools for our other 3 existing services as well as the importance of support for new services as they are added. Our VISTA will build support resources and strengthen capacity of sub domain web content.
-Build comprehensive online training and support resources for remaining 3 applications in Toolbox and new applications as they are added to the Toolbox. Ensure that applications are fully sustainable & documented, saving staff time while helping smaller nonprofits make use of the Toolbox.
- Strengthen the capacity of Grassroots.org’s sub domain website content to serve nonprofits, recruit new members, and generate needed attention from nonprofits, volunteers, donors and partners.
-Manage Grassroots.org’s newsletters, recruit members/partners to publish entries for Grassroots.org blog
Scott created help guides, Webinars and supplemental materials to make the Grassroots.org Toolbox experience seamless for al Grassroots.org members. Scott took over the management of our NING social networking site in addition to streamlining our SEO consulting program and making the application process for the Social Venture Consulting program more efficient. Scott authored an extensive amount of content on our blog, such as the “Tool of the Week” series and our “Faces of Change” video series. In addition, Scott created estore.grassroots.org (a promotional products website resulting in 4% donations for Grassroots.org) and was an essential force in creating Interns.org on Wordpress. Scott’s positive, can-do attitude enabled him to complete every project he was asked to complete.
Scott ended up developing our NING Community Networking site. Scott fully took over this project from the design to the moderation of the site. Scott also took on the role of reaching out face-to-face with our local members, something he had a personal interest in and showed initiative in doing. In addition to promoting Grassroots.org through attending “GrassrootsCamp” NY Tech Meetup events, Scott got involved in the projects of our member orgs. For example, Scott volunteered his time to sketch/design a handbook for Grassroots.org member “Getting Tools to City Schools” and their sustainable binder project. Scott is a true joy to have in the office and his greatest accomplishment in my opinion is his positive contribution to morale.
Scott was able to accomplish every task that we gave him. Scott was very responsible about asking for help when he needed it and seeking out the tools he needed to complete tasks. It was a pleasure working with him throughout the year and in fact, we hired him at the end of his VISTA term.
Widespread access to computers among socially disadvantaged farmers has expanded opportunities to provide educational materials online. The New Entry website is currently used to post information about our training programs and resource guides. We have not yet tapped the potential of this site to connect with broader audiences for outreach and training through distance learning.
Optimal learning for farmers takes place through visual and interactive processes. Development of enhanced digital media is currently an important New Entry priority for both training and outreach purposes in order for our program to expand. As a result, the VISTA Member will manage all aspects of developing digital media in three main areas: online courses, webcasts, and video clips.
Goal #1 – Convert Six On-line Courses from Written to Digital Media
Goal #2 - Development of Three Webcasts
Goal #3 – Develop Video Clips for Low-Literacy Population in Areas of Outreach
Goal #4 – Evaluation of Process
In addition to completing most of the assignments originally envisioned for John’s year with New Entry, John completed assignments which went well beyond the stated goals in the original proposal. In addition to the three workshop videos to be included in the online curriculum, John developed a Seedling Training video for on-line curriculum use.
The sustainability of John’s contributions will remain significant, well into the future. In addition to developing solid working curriculum for on-line use, John developed important foundations upon which New Entry curriculum can expand. John established a formula for production of workshop videos, on-line curriculum videos, and Farmer-to-Farmer Moments. This formula will be repeated with each new video which is produced into the future. John also converted our lending library of VHS tapes into DVDs to both extend the shelf life of the videos and make them available to clients with DVD players. John also participated in outreach activities and made important partnerships throughout the area.
The VISTA will develop and manage Idealware’s eLearning Training Initiative. The eLearning Training Initiative will help Idealware to transform their current on-line training programs into an on-demand training library which takes advantage of current eLearning best practices. The VISTA will work with the Idealware team to define an eLearning strategy to deliver training to help non-profits choose software. They will then package curriculum materials that Idealware has already developed to be optimally viewed as screencasts, software demos and more, as well as create new modules to fill content gaps and expand Idealware’s scope of offerings. The VISTA will also work with staff and consultants to develop the technology to appropriately sell packages and individual online trainings, help to facilitate and administrate Idealware’s current live training, and train Idealware staff in the skills to continue to maintain the training library and create new vidoes after the VISTA term expires.
Colin fulfilled much of the work towards our eLearning initiative. He began with preliminary research to survey the scope of the field of eLearning, and provided recommendations for Idealware’s approach. He then co-authored an article based on this research which outlined several eLearning styles and their possible applications for nonprofit organizations. Colin developed potential sales models for the eLearning course library, and created pilot courses to test the concept. This involved developing the curriculum, writing the scripts, interviewing other organizations for content, and producing and designing the visuals. After launching the courses, he conducted a feedback survey to gauge reaction to the courses and test their viability as a business model for Idealware.
As a result of the shift in eLearning’s role at Idealware, Colin took on the development of six software demonstration videos that evaluate donor management systems. These have been commissioned by the Pew Foundation to support a live training session. They will help nonprofit organizations make a more informed decision when choosing a donor management software system. Colin has also headed a research project that tests the effectiveness of broadcast email software in avoiding spam filters. He has been responsible for desiging the research, implementing the process, and reporting the results. Colin has supported Idealware in many other ways. He has provided diagrams and visualizations to our online trainings. He has also worked on diagrams to be published in the NTEN Journal, and taken staff photographs for our website. He also sometimes brings cake to the office.
The results of our feedback survey for the eLearning courses revealed that our plan to deploy eLearning as a revenue-generating product would not be as successful as we would have liked. While the media content created by Colin was valuable, this particular format would not be a sustainable enterprise. We decided to shift the role of media content to support our live training seminars.
Having Colin on staff has enabled our organization to expand the types of training we can offer. He will be creating courses that document his processes and enable others to pick up where he leaves off.
“We’re disappointed that the VISTA program will no longer be supported. Colin is a valuable member of our staff and we would have liked to have had another VISTA.”
- Andrea Berry, supervisor
Goal 1: Continue to develop volunteer training program for instructors and classroom assistants plus expand volunteer recruitment to include interns, work-study and other community service organizations in order to develop a support mechanism for all essential functions of the EDGE project. Emphasize recruitment of bilingual volunteers to assist with our increasing number of non-English-speaking participants.
Goal 2: Insure future availability of basic computer and Internet training plus increase offsite access to EDGE training by helping to create online versions of handouts, interactive tutorials and instructional video.
Goal 3: Increase local awareness of The EDGE program plus work toward ensuring future
support by researching, identifying or contacting potential community partners, local and national corporations, local and national foundations and other possible grant sources. Present grant-writing opportunities to the Project Director and assist in the grant writing process and implementation of grant award projects as needed.
During Kimberly’s year with the EDGE the attendance number rose to over 3800. Kim was very successful in building good rapport with the EDGE clients and encouraged increased participation in both instructor-led and self-paced tutorial sessions, especially with our older population and our teens.
Kim worked on a volunteer recruitment plan and helped in the development of a new Volunteer application form. Volunteer hours increased to an average of 25 hours per month in her last six months, up from just 6 hours per month during her first 6 months.
In the spring of 2005, The EDGE saw the return of work-study students from one of the local universities. Kim worked well with these students and guided them in duties to help sustain the EDGE after her term ended.
Kim’s rapport with Hispanic participants helped The EDGE increase its number of Hipanic clients. As the University of Missouri Extension office announced that they would be discontinuing their bilingual technology workshops at the EDGE in September 2005, the library system began addressing the issue of bilingual volunteers through its newly created Diversity committee. Bilingual library staff are now working on a plan to offer established EDGE courses in Spanish some time in the future.
Over 50 class handouts and two interactive tutorials are now posted on the EDGE website. Kim assisted EDGE staff in making these handouts available in a variety of formats.
Kim has researched and presented several suggestions for both community and national partnerships and grant opportunities to the project director.
Kim helped obtain the required materials to support the Library’s application for a “Make a Difference” Scholarship grant. The application focused on The EDGE program. This grant was awarded by the University of Missouri to the Springfield Greene County Library as the library in Missouri applying the best use of technology to help its community.
Kim’s help has made it possible for The EDGE program to continue to serve the members of the community by helping them improve and expand their technology and information seeking skills. With a decrease in grant funding and the library’s budgetary constraints, the help received from VISTA is essential for the continuation and growth of the EDGE project.
An article explaining eLearning possibilities by corps member Colin Pizarek and Idealware’s Senior Editor, Chris Bernard.
Link to Article: http://www.idealware.org/articles/considering-elearning-software