CNCS, Microsoft Partnership Gives Students a Chance To Teach Educators Technology
In an effort to give students a "portal" to real-world volunteer service, the federally operated Corporation for National and Community Service has announced a partnership with Microsoft's U.S. Partners in Learning to establish a virtual helpdesk, an online tool aimed at helping tech-savvy students help teachers using technology in the classroom.
The virtual helpdesk aims to offer an entree to students interested in taking their technological knowhow and putting it to use for the greater good. Teachers and students throughout the country who have questions on any and all aspects of classroom technology can use the helpdesk to connect to service-minded young volunteers who can offer the benefit of their first-hand knowledge and experience using such technology.
"Our collaboration with Microsoft will help provide 21st century service opportunities for students and give educators and non-profit leaders tools they need to better fulfill their mission," said Nicola Goren, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. She added that the partnership is one "that marries the power of technology with compassion of young people to strengthen teaching and learning in our nation."
In addition to all the student volunteers can offer, Goren said they can also develop their own universal skills in real-world interaction, including leadership, problem solving, troubleshooting, communication, and teamwork. Also inherent in such service is the invaluable skill of successfully imparting knowledge, something many students take for granted in their own teachers.
The helpdesk is currently being designed and developed by an advisory team of education, youth development and non-profit leaders from throughout the United States. The goal, said a spokesperson, is to support the nationwide education technology community using online, phone, and, where possible, onsite approaches. According to the partnership, the helpdesk is expected to launch for public use in January 2010.
Scott Aronowitz is a freelance writer based in Las Vegas. He has covered the technology, advertising, and entertainment sectors for seven years. He can be reached here.