Communication: Tech Tutors

January 25, 2001

Course Description
The focus of this service learning experience is applying the techniques and knowledge gained in the classroom to the real and practical demands of a designer /client relationship. Student designers work onsite, using technology to solve the communication needs of non-profit agencies. Students develop needs analyses and write and implement proposals to meet their community partners' needs. These may involve print, Multimedia, design for the Web, networking, and other Computer applications.

Course Description
The focus of this service learning experience is to apply Management and Design Principles to identify the needs of the community to bridge the Digital Divide, and to collaborate in the identification and implementation of a solution(s). This could include training community members to use or install technology. In collaboration with partners, which could include K- 12 students and teachers, adults, and employees and constituency of non-profit agencies, students develop needs analyses, write and implement proposals to meet the training and technological needs of the agency. These may involve tutoring in basic computer literacy, multimedia production, networking, and other Computer applications. Students use their skills and knowledge acquired in their studies to help fill significant community needs for local non-profit organizations, while learning about, and reflecting on community issues.

Thematic Issues

    Both courses collectively and independently explore the "Digital Divide." Who has access to technology and who doesn't?
    And how can equal access to communication technologies positively affect our individual lives and our society?
    What is culture? And what is Cultural identity?
    How are new and evolving, communications technologies redefining these concepts?
    How do we as a society define and reinforce concepts of power relations, equity and social justice?
    Can technology strengthen democracy locally, nationally, and internationally?
    What are the consequences of a "global village?"

      Journal: A personal, reflective collection of writings documenting the student's service learning- experience
      Proposal: A professional written document that defines the scope of the project, provides a thorough analysis of the problem and the client needs, and recommends appropriate and creative methods for satisfying these needs
      Panel Discussion: A Student team-led forum focussing on relevant issues involving community partners, the CSUMB and greater communities
      Professional Service: The "product" You provide for your non-profit agency
      Threaded Discussions: A weekly, online discussion between service learning Students and their community partners
      Client Evaluation: A professional evaluation of the Student's service learning- performance provided by the community partner
      Journals = 20% of your grade
      You are responsible for keeping, a weekly journal of your service learning experience. Your journal should document your actions, interactions, observations and, most importantly, your reflections. Your journal should clearly illustrate the connections You are making between the campus community, the service learning community, your specific community partner, the local community, your chosen profession, and the larger society.

      Proposal = 15% of your grade
      You will write a proposal to be delivered to and accepted by your service partner/client defining the project and solutions. It will include:

        Executive Summary
        Table of Contents
        Goal Statement
        Needs Analysis (Problem Statement, Context analyses, Audience Analysis)
        Scope of Work (Delivery System, Components, Features) or list of services
        Content Outline

      Panel and Threaded Discussions = 20% of your grade
      Working in collaboration with the 361 course, student teams will organize and lead a panel discussion on the Digital Divide in the Monterey Bay Region. The discussion will be open to the entire CSUMB Community, the service partners and their agencies, and the general public.
      You will be responsible for participating in weekly, online threaded discussions. Each week will be devoted to a specific service learning issue. Your ability to contribute to the "conversation" will require outside research and preparation, as well as thoughtful insights and reflection.

      Professional Service and Client Evaluation = 30% of your grade
      The course requires that you commit to a minimum of 33 hours of on-site service at your agency. Like a job in the "real world," You will be expected to maintain regular hours and to produce quality work.
      As a group in-class project develop and deliver a workshop for teachers and parents to inform them about all the uses of the technology.

      Term Paper = 15% of your grade
      Choose a theme for your paper that synthesizes your experience at your service learning site, your reading, the activities and tile threaded discussion. Support your paper with a multimedia presentation that will be viewed on finals week.

      Required text:
      The Japanese in the Monterey Bay by Lydon, Sandy

      Supplemental weekly handout

      Reading: White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondence Work in Women's Studies*

      Activity: Self-Mapping: Given an outline of human body, students fill in by percentage how they identify themselves by cultural components and write a short explanation and rationale, answering the question "What percent of me is what? ", "How does each segment influence how I respond to life "How do all the segments combine to determine my identity?"

      Evidence: Class presentation, Graphic

      Reading: New Technologies and the Global Race
      The Japanese in the Monterey Bay

      Resource: Film Series Virtual Equality: The Information Revolution and the Inner City, Crossing the Divide: Creating a High-Tech Work Force

      Evidence: Term paper

      Reading: The Haves and Haves-Nots
      The Technology Gap. Losing Ground Bit by Bit: Low-Income Communities in the Information Age

      Resource: Film Series — Wired for What? The Dividends of Universal Access

      Activity: Community Scan – walk the community in which you serve, observe, eat lunch, talk to people, ask shop owners if they use telecommunication technology, if they have access to it, how they perceive it, etc. Compare and contrast how your cultural identity influences your attitudes and skills regarding technology with that of someone of another culture.

      Evidence: Survey results, paper

      Reading: High Technology and Low-income Communities: Prospects for the Positive use of Advanced Information Technology

      Resource: Film Series — Virtual Equality: The Information Revolution and the Inner City, Crossing the Divide: Creating a High-Tech Work Force

      Activity: Analysis in "Best Practices in Training and Tutoring in the Use of Technology"

      Evidence: Proposal, Implementation of proposal

      Reading: High Technology and Low-income Communities: Prospects for the Positive use of Advanced Information Technology

      Problem Solving Resource: Fair Play: Achieving Gender Equity in the Digital Acre

      Activity: Conference with community partners, Interview Constituency.
      Plan and implement workshop for teachers, parents, and other members of the community.

      Evidence: Lesson plans, installation plans, design documents, client evaluation

      Reading: Stewardship: Choosing Service Over Self-Interest

      Activity: Survey, reflection

      Evidence: Survey, journal, and term paper

      School: California State University, Monterey Bay
      Professor: Kevin Cahill, Geri Philley
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