I’m acquainted with a wonderful example of new media solving what had been a time-consuming problem: how to connect kids who want to give some of their time in service to good causes, with those causes. The answer is SweatMonkey (www.sweatmonkey.org), a FREE social networking site dedicated to the win-win proposition of service and volunteering. Students (or adults for that matter) can logon to find local opportunities for volunteer work – and what’s better – the site logs and tracks their service hours into a portfolio that the volunteer can use at school or work.
Why aren’t more school counselors signing up for this? It takes care of the hours and hours of paperwork that students and highschools used to have to go through to track and award kids the service hours they need to graduate or get scholarships. Why are school systems so slow to adopt these technologies?