Monday, January 14, 2008

MLK Day: Make it a day on, not a day off.

Monday January 21, 2008 is the national celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and work. UNE plans several activities in support of the celebration. I encourage our students to participate in those activities. Since I believe that learning and technology both play essential roles in helping us to move toward King's vision, I find irony in the university's choice to cancel classes on that day. I hope that students will choose to "make it a day on". The National Service Corporation cites the Helping youth to use technology project as an effective practice:
Technology access to youth in underserved areas has long been a concern for those seeking to bridge the digital divide. An organization in San Diego teaches "technoliteracy" so that youth can use media in ways that are meaningful to their lives. While youth express themselves by authoring online magazines and producing visual art for gallery exhibits, they are empowered and connected to global issues.
For my day on, I plan to go to the Technology Lab and work on building our capacity to sustain our efforts in service-learning.

Organizers of the MLK Tech Scholars project have a similar vision:
In Chicago''s West Town community, the NTRC will launch the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Technology Scholars Program (MLK Tech Scholars) for students in grades 8 - 12. To bridge the "digital divide", this program will link 25 local students with area businesses, churches and organizations to increase awareness and lend their technology expertise in areas that include web site development, database creation, and word processing. Participating youth will attend an eight-week pre-service training that will refine their technology experience, and orient them to the significance of service-learning. After the eight weeks, each youth will complete a four-week, on-site technology project with a partner organization.

Michael W. Smith Calls on Americans to Serve on King Day 00:00:42
Musician Michael W. Smith calls on Americans to make the upcoming King Holiday a "day on and not a day off" by coming together to participate in volunteer projects that improve life in their communities. Smith is a member of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.

No comments: