Monday, December 1, 2008

The DD in Augusta

The Augusta Chronicle like many online news sources conducts daily polls on subjects ranging from A to Z. I use an RSS reader to subscribe to blogs, news, and tailored Google alerts.

As a military retiree who has moved in and out of Augusta, which coexists with the home of the Signal Corps, Fort Gordon, GA I am perplexed that this is the only city where I see growth in the population as well as the expansion in the digital divide...digital disconnect...digital separation.

I have blogged about living in a digital divide with a daughter who is one among many of the gadget girls growing up digital and a mother who is learning something new every week from listening to podcasts, texting, subscribing to blogs and news, working out with the Wii Fit, and many other learning objectives achieved while learning a new gadget, a new technique, or understanding a technical perspective.

Working with my daughter's high school and reviving BHS PTSA I saw an opportunity to connect teachers, students, parents, and community partners with no budget and created a newsgroup, a blog, website, and a MySpace. Like many parents of high school students I wanted to be involved without being labeled a helicopter parent and improve the negative press and statistics. I also understand that our young people will grow up and into the leaders of our communities, states, and global corporations.

I understand that this image below does not represent all computer users in Augusta. The informal poll demonstrates the participants use of social networking or as Vicki Davis, The Cool Cat Teacher, challenges us to rename it to educational networking. The Augusta Chronicle puts their spin on their media as any media organization does, but on any given day, you can see comments to articles referencing taxes, racial issues and there will be thousands of comments to an article. One positive article and maybe a parent or teacher will post a comment.

I understand that negative press sells but I also believe that inside everyone is the ability to resolve an issue by doing something. So as we reflect on our accomplishments of 2008, what have you done to improve your community? Practiced a random act of kindness? Said a kind word? As Ghandi is quoted, "Be the change you want to see in the world" and Aesop, "No act of kindess, no matter how small is ever wasted". As we all want, "Everything to be fine in 2009", what will you do to be one part of the solution to making things fine in 2009?

I have created a Ning to connect parents, teachers, students, community members as a collaborative web space. So if you would like to join, participate in discussion boards, share knowledge and experience, provide positive information, ask questions just request access to the RCSS Backchannel.


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