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Reflections

Ashley: In retrospect, its helpful to clearly define group members’ roles and expectations so equipping our site is less hectic on the last visit.  For example, we should have designated a sole person to keep a pool of digital scans, software,  itineraries and park information.  Equipped with this pool, it would have been easier for me to update the blog, Kyle to design the web site, Noelle to create to-do lists and itineraries, and Julia to keep track of  what hardware we needed.  I assume that this is a basic problem with larger scale group work in communities when administrators are disconnected without access to the same information and resources.  On a positive note, this was an amazing academic experience in terms of learning how to utilize our group members’ strengths to complete a project beyond the classroom.  It was refreshing to be taken outside the confines of academia and discover how our academic strengths can lead to practical, real-world results.

Noelle: It’s important to know your audience because computers can be used anywhere as and with anyone as long as you tailor the computers’ programs to suit the users. I learned about elderly needs, and how important intergenerational programming is to computer users.  Intergenerational programming is when you bring both a younger and older group together to work on a project.  Both groups share their ideas with one another and are empowered.  It combines their expertise and creates a new program for both groups.  In addition, we need that dialog from elderly people.  We need to respect them and create outlets for them to express their needs instead of us telling them what they need.  Their viewpoints are many times excluded, especially in arenas that discuss technology.

Kyle: It’s very important to stay in contact with the site’s administrators to maintain a clear idea of the group’s expectations and benchmarks. Testing our software and keeping a consistant inventory before arriving at our site would’ve also been helpful.  On the final day, our monitors were displaced for a few hours, and Microsoft Office was inoperable on one of our computers. We needed to have a solid plan of action, and an inventory of items to lessen the risk of leaving monitors, or other equipment behind.

Julia: I really appreciate working with the Park District because it’s an institution that focuses more on what people have-and not what they are lacking.  I enjoyed learning about the history of East St. Louis.  I really enjoyed helping to reconstruct the functional park Mrs. Golliday remembers as a child.  I forget that parks are service points, but they can be central to a community; I’m really appreciative for this opportunity, and believe that the physical ability to help others should be integrated into our curriculum.  I think it’s important to get out there and talk to people–to get a feel for the area, and to know the landscape.