Tampa Bay Mentor Match is a community project of Learning is for Everyone*, a nonprofit education resource group working to empower families and learners through information and networking, on the web and off. We believe that by pooling our collective intelligences together, our kids potentially have access to some powerful learning resources we can't achieve alone. The opportunity to spend time with someone who shares a child's interests or career goals provides a more meaningful and enduring education than any classroom can provide.I like the focus on communities, empowering learners and families, and a collective greater than the sum of the parts. Unfortunately, it seems as if Willingham has not drawn in a critical mass of participants to the site. The mentor pages are only sparsely populated and I don't see much evidence for student participation. The Sitemeter for Mentor Match stats indicate limited engagement with the site. She seems to have casual visitors from across North America.
What does it take to move this promising concept to engaged and robust participation that supports a community? I wonder whether iTeams can establish a critical mass of activity that would then grow virally. What should we try?