Closing the technology gap in education

Yesterday the Department of Education released their National Education Technology Plan (NETP), an 18-month project that details how to better integrate technology and media into a cradle-to-college system.


119 Gallery
VISTA Name: 
Mira Allen
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

119 Gallery seeks an individual to lead the expansion and development of the organization’s marketing, outreach and community building activities so we can reach and serve a larger population. Utilizing multiple communication venues, we will develop a solid strategic communications plan to inform our community members of offerings and engage them in programming. The Gallery’s robust programs of events, education, and exhibits draw a steady crowd of artists, community members, and young people. It has a number of systems (both operational and technical) in place to handle the strategic communications of the organization, but they are fragmented and lack focus. The CTC VISTA member would design and create a cohesive system that will more effectively leverage the organizations skills and capacities to engage and educate our community members.

· Assess organization’s current outreach, marketing and communication activities with strategic communications in mind

· Assess organization’s current communication infrastructure (web, email, social networks, print, mail, press)

· Gather member input into strategic communication needs

· Establish networking and outreach and shared communications with collaborating organizations.

· Research and recommend new processes for integrating and redesiging in a more efficient and strategic manner the organization’s outreach, marketing and communications activities with an eye toward greater community impact and involvement

· Design and implement this new strategic communications plan

· Create a set of evaluation metrics and benchmarks that will enable the organization to track is progress

· Train interns, volunteers and staff in the effective use of and maintainence of the new communications system

· Provide additional strategic input and staffing support for all gallery programmatic areas, including Identifying and meeting with community organizations that share our mission and constituency.

Project Outcome: 

Mira has succeeded in organizing our overall marketing. She is working with a volunteer from the the Jericho Road Foundation to establish a comprhensive marketing plan. She is a member of the 199 Gallery Board’s Marketing Subcommittee. She maintains Facebook and Myspace pages, posting notices and invites as appropriate. She edits and emails a bimonthly newsletter using Constant Contact. She has participated in the design and development of several fund raising events including the Jazz Brunch, and Dinner & A Movie. She organized the annual membership renewal campaign, Show Us The Love. She has updated the gallery database. She assists in recruiting and managing volunteers.

The database was a mess, Mira fixed it! She created the newsletter from scratch and in addition has established a good working relationship with the local newspaper, the Lowell SUN.

Mira helped us with press release, created a social networking site which has over 500 fans, worked on our monthly newsletter and multiple fundraisers.

In addition, Mira joined several community projects, sent out a marketing survey to Gallery members, and, over Labor Day weekend, participated in the Bumpkin Island Artists Encampment over Labor Day Weekend. She also coordinated the Jazz Brunch, our annual fundraiser.

We did not get the completed manual for future training, but as a result of Mira’s work, we have much more visibility and are growing in terms of members and programming.

Impact Quote: 

Mira was devoted even outside the job, she harnessed many relationships for the gallery that otherwise would not have been here. As a result we got more people interested in our gallery and diverse programming.”
- Y Sok Woodward, supervisor

Media Literacy Critical in Today’s Schools

John Urkevich, Executive Director of Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, Inc. discusses the need for media literacy training in schools:

Mobile Learning Lab Youth Outreach Coordinator & Teacher

VISTA Name: 
Richard T. Anderson
Program Start: 
Program End: 
Project Description: 

Richard was a crucial part of the Mollie youth video team, providing youth access and exposure to digital video technology during Mollie moviemaking video projects with schools and community groups. Richard was especially instrumental in the use of digital audio technology, integrating audio technology into the Mollie youth projects and other GRCMC departments.

Project Outcome: 

Richard assisted the education department with youth outreach curriculum development efforts, developing innovative ways to expose community youth to digital audio and video technology. He developed interest surveys for school and community info. gathering and assisted with the implementation of an open house for CMC Wealthy neighborhood residents. Richard was a member of the SMART Festival planning team, an international student media arts festival organized and hosted by GRCMC..

A particular story that stands out is the use of audio resources and curriculum developed by Richard: There was a young man named Patrick who was 14 years of age and lived across the street from Media Center with his Mom and 6 brothers and sisters. He would drop by the media center often after school. He learned a variety of video production skills and produced a few short studio productions for air on community television, but nothing seemed to really stick with him. One day we asked him to produce and record a rap that could be used for promotion of the Mollie youth program. You could see the excitement in his eyes at that suggestion. In a matter of weeks he had the rap written out and beats to use with it created on the computer. Using the tools and resources Richard had collected and organized, we were able to both find a passion for this young man and help promote our programs and organization.

U Mass Boston/College of Public & Community Service

Boston, MA

The College of Public and Community Service is one of five colleges that comprise the University of Massachusetts Boston campus. As such, CPCS seeks to extend the tradition of the land grant university in a number of ways:

Educating students to foster the public good and aid the transformation to a more equitable society
Providing research, advocacy, technical assistance, and service to the surrounding community
Forging partnerships with public agencies and community organizations that enhance the quality of life for low income and other inadequately served populations
In these ways, the college works toward overcoming the attitudes, beliefs, and structures in our society which prevent access to the resources that exist and discourage full participation in economic, civic, cultural and political life. As an alternative educational institution, CPCS endeavors to function as an inclusive, democratic, and participatory learning community which promotes diversity, equality, and social justice.

CPCS actively cultivates a diverse and mature student body and offers an empowering and effective education which equips students to advocate for themselves and to improve the health and well-being of their chosen communities. The college recognizes that, particularly in a multicultural society, such an educational enterprise is inextricably bound to the complementary goals of meaningful access and adequate support for underserved populations. The successful CPCS graduate is a competent, confident, self-directed, life long learner who can demonstrate:

Language and technical skills necessary for purposeful inquiry and communication
Professional competence to function effectively in a broad range of workplace and community-based roles and activities
Critical consciousness needed to clarify and challenge prevailing values, ideologies, and practices
Essential knowledge required for participating fully in society

The CPCS curriculum is designed with such students in mind. The core of this inventive educational system is an outcome-oriented curriculum in which prior learning is validated and collaborative projects are encouraged. At CPCS, the student is considered a resource in the educational process, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills intersects with experiential learning and field-based education. As a forward-looking educational institution, CPCS continues to explore innovative delivery systems and technologies and seeks to articulate its educational philosophy and pedagogy with other academic institutions, community organizations, and public agencies.

The Wilderness Technology Alliance

Washington, DC

The WTA pioneers character and technology education programs through service learning. Students and volunteers gain work-based learning experiences by providing valuable technology products and services to their school or local community. Professional skills are gained while marketable products are produced to generate revenues that help sustain the program. The Alliance typically partners with state education agencies, school districts, community organiziations and other formal or informal teaching institutions, to implement its programs.

The Inland Northwest Community Access Network

Spokane, WA

TINCAN provides education and support for social, economic and community development for the Inland Northwest region through the use of information technology and interactive media. We create online content of value to the local community;
develop collaborative training and education utilizing online resources; and
collaborate with local partners to provide access to digital technologies for those who might otherwise not be able to benefit from online information

The Academy for Career Development

Rochester, NY

The Academy For Career Development provides educational opportunities for disabled, disadvantaged, and displaced children, youth, and adults. To this end, The Academy creates optimized learning environments in which students progress from classroom based assisted learning, to self-directed learning, to a final demonstration of their ability to competently function in a contemporary workplace setting through work internships and apprenticeship programs. The ultimate goal of the students’ total educational experience is to prepare for, obtain, and retain a job that pays a living wage.

Edlab Group/Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology

Lynwood, WA

The EdLab Group (formerly the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (PSCTLT) is a private, non-profit center with funding from federal and state governments, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Our mission is to leverage the power of technology and diversity to transform teaching and learning.

In furtherance of this mission, the EdLab Group has adopted three major strategic objectives:

New Tools for Teaching and Learning: Optimize the performance of educators and other professionals by creating innovative methods and materials and helping others to use them.
Equity: Provide programs and support that address the achievement gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Evaluation: Provide evaluation services to empower programs and organizations to more effectively reach their outcomes and goals.

Parents, Let's Unite for Kids

Billings, MT

PLUK is a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1984 by parents of children with special needs in the state of Montana for the purpose of information, support, training and assistance to aid their children at home, school and as adults.

We become as well informed as possible about best practices in the fields of education, medicine, the law, human services, rehabilitation and technology so that we can insure that our family members and friends with disabilities have access to high quality services.

We willingly share information and emotional support with each other so that together we are stronger in our efforts to meet the challenges of disabilities and illnesses.

Transmission Project