Service Learning in Higher Ed
Have you thought about incorporating community service into the classroom? Once you implement community service into your class, then what? Matching community service to the objectives of your class creates service learning, and service learning creates engaged students. They learn about themselves, affected populations, the communities' needs, and most of all, about your class subject. So whether you're a biology, criminology, or english instructor, incorporate service learning into your curriculum. Your students will excel academically and civically.
My philosophy on Service Learning
Margaret Shu-Mei Sass
My philosophy of service learning credits the philosophers of education prior to my exposure to the academic world. As Dewey and Kolb emphasized the need for students to learn through theirenvironment and inquiry, I too, believe this is necessary for quality education. Each student attending college has a unique background consisting of a particular culture, certain family dynamic and social environment.
An instructor needs to be aware that each student has unique and valuable skills they can offer and implement to meet certain community needs.
Through service learning, students can become more self-aware of their skills through dialogue, reflections, and social interaction among their
classmates and nonprofit organizations. As these students work through the process of a service learning activity, their abilities and talents are nurtured and highlighted. Not only do students and peers learn about themselves and each other, but the instructor learns and grows through the service learning experience as well. Creative and progressive
service learning curriculum through interaction, activities, and lecture should
continually meet the mission and objectives of the college course as well.
A college environment that incorporates service learning curriculum promotes equality and civic engagement through critical thinking and
analysis. This form of experiential learning advances new awareness about race, culture, socioeconomic status, and demanding needs the community faces. With such an educational direction and goal, the college creates a supportive and collaborative academic “community” that will help initiate a civic-mindedand active student. We, as educators, are here to aid and guide them through our own
knowledge and experiences so they can succeed. Service learning is a necessity for the overall experience of the student. Students receive first-hand knowledge regarding what service is, how it affects others and
themselves while meeting the objectives of the class. Service learning increases a student’s self-awareness and reflection about the significant of their voluntary actions on the community they live and support. The student learns. The instructor learns. Most of the all, the community
Using Twitter in Service Learning
Twitter can be used as an effective reflection tool. It also helps students communicate with their teacher and their classmates. As useful as Twitter may be, it's still not used as often as it could be in a college setting. The first step is to learn how to use it. Below are the directions I give to my students:
1. Go to www.twitter.com and sign up for a name. I would suggest something easy like your name.
2. Once you are on, search for other people to follow. Search
ideas would be the field you're majoring in, hobbies, certain people, etc.
3. After that, go to http://paper.liand sign up for the Twitter
newspaper. This will take 24 hours to activate. Once it’s done, you
will receive a daily twitter newspaper. This saves time from going onto twitter
constantly but keep you updated.
4. Set your phone up to receive twitter so you can“tweet” from you phone.
5. Most importantly, TWEET! This must be in 140 characters or less.
For class, have it relate to a subject that you're discussing that week. You can send out a question to students and have them respond weekly or daily.
Twitter helps students consolidate their thoughts into a short phrase. It allows them to express themselves without competing with others that may occur in a classroom. It also encourages constant communication about the class and other related topics, such as nonprofit activities and events. Students can tweet what they are doing for their community service. They can also tweet a quick reflective update on the progress of their project. Another great feature is that they can make comments on others that are tweeting about their service learning projects.
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