Home and Community
Connecting what goes on in school with what's happening in the local
community and at home is an important element of any students' education. To the extent that
students can see these connections between school work and real work is the extent to which they
can feel connected to the larger communities they live in. In many cases, students may not know
much about their local community, and the units and lessons in this section can help facilitate
learning about community organizations.
- Encourage students to learn about their local community, their family, their culture, and
the organizations in the community. Local community organizations, such as police departments,
fire departments, heath departments, social services, and homeless shelters are important
services in the community. Often, these organizations have no money to develop and use
the Internet. This, combined with students interest in using the Web, can be turned into a
win-win situation if students help local organizations create a presence on the Web.
- Ask students to think about and appreciate the value of supportive services they have
used in their lives. While many students are lucky enough not have needed these services, there
are probably also students whose experiences can be turned into powerful learning
opportunities for others. Encourage students to take an active role in community organizations
in the local area. Many students start out in Girl or Boy Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, and
other community organizations that help build an appreciate for the value of community service.
- Plan specific tasks for students to accomplish that focus their "browsing" but
simultaneously allow them to pursue their own interests in family and community. For
instance, if a student has a rich family history, encourage them to search for their genealogy
at any of the resources on the Internet (see Related Resources section).
- If a problem occurs, technical, curricular, or otherwise, don't throw in the
towel. Brainstorm with your students about possible ways to solve the problem. By
viewing problems as challenges, teachers can help students adopt a mind set of
inquisitiveness and empowerment that will help them navigate their own lives as well as
- Be flexible and prepared for anything, especially if this is a first time
home-community connection. The best-laid plans may come to be scrapped, sometimes with
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