Over the next two days I’ll be blogging from THATCamp at CHNM. The first afternoon session I attended was on civic engagement. I’m in this session because of the field studies course I intend to teach next summer and am very thrilled to see the work of the Cultural Gardens project at Cleveland State University. Much of what they are already doing is what I intend to do with my students over the next few summers.
Another project demo’d in this session was the PoliMap Beta. This interesting project is a mash up between a GoogleDocs spreadsheet and GoogleMaps. This project, developed in just a couple of days by Will Riley at Georgia Tech, shows just how easily free tools can be combined to create very interesting resources. As someone in the audience pointed out, this interface would be so simple to use that it is perfect to use in K-12 teaching, especially for teaching civics.
These are just two of the several interesting approaches presented in this session. [See also the African-American Cemeteries project and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology project.] The fundamental questions asked by the group had to do with how to establish connections in the communities we work with, how to sustain these projects (a crucial question), and how to get this work to “count” (again).