Prairienet Banner

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Thursday, May 5th, 2011


Zerodivide through the Digital Storytelling Institute teams up with community-based organizations and technology centers to provide training, technical support, media tools and technology for community members to tell and share their stories.  Zerodivide, through digital storytelling, “addresses both the divide divide and content divide that exist in underserved communities.

The above link shares several digital stories from community members. I chose the Zerodivide Digital Storytelling Institute because of commitment of the organization to engage members from underserved communities with technology.  The tellers ability to share their joys, trials and tribulations via stories so that others are able to learn from and experience their life is powerful.  Sharing stories with others takes courage and they are learning and reflection experiences for both teller and listener, as can be seen in stories such as Grupo de Hombres and Shock and Awe. 

EmpowerLA Neighborbood Blog

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Keeping neighborhood residents up to date and bringing them together is made easier by through this blog, sponsored by the city of Los Angeles’ Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. Postings vary across a wide range of interests. For example, recent announcements included the LA Public Library’s Spanish language book fair, free tire recycling and notices of public hearings.
Community groups can submit information, but the actual posting is handled by the EmpowerLA website. Links, such as to a promotional flyer or a group’s website, can be included in the post. There currently is no way to comment or respond.

The larger website, EmpowerLA, connects city residents with their local neighborhood councils, and gives information on how to get more involved in the community.

What’s the “DIRT” blog?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

“DIRT” is a blog done by Terry Peterkin Brock, a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at Michigan State University. She has a particular interest in Historical Archaeology, and is conducting research at Historic St. Mary’s City in Southern Maryland.

This link is a great example of what a blog is, if you are trying to create one yourself or are engaged in community engagement and are trying to learn how to use social media to further your purpose.
This blog serves a number of purposes, and is about a number of different things, but the major topics are:
• Her current research and interests, which include her dissertation project on slavery in America, the importance of community engaged research as it pertains to cultural heritage.
• Her process of developing a professional identity as she progresses through graduate school as a professional archaeologist, cultural heritage professional, teacher, and leader.
• New tools, software, and hardware that help her become a better professional and conduct her research. She has a particular interest in social media and Macintosh computers, so expect a bent in that direction.

HFWG – Using the Web to Share

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

The Hispanic Families Working Group is an organization located in McLean County that is focused on helping the Latino community in central Illinois find resources, and is also active in finding gaps in services and trying to fill those gaps. This organization does not have a physical location. Instead, most of their information sharing and work is done online through their website, their Facebook, an email listserv, and although they do have in-person meetings as well. The website and Facebook are both new as of last year, and were major projects that they worked on.

What is great about working almost exclusively through the web is that this lowers any costs attributed to renting a space. I expect this group had difficulties before the creation of its website, as there was no central location for information to be amassed. It is not just used for the business of the HFWG, as it also works on disseminating information and news that are of general interest to the Spanish-speaking community in McLean County. The website default is English, but utilizes Google translate right on the page so that readers can easily switch to Spanish, helping to reach a larger part of the population.

The Spirit of Sharing – Using Social Media to Engage

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

This article ran in the New York Times on March 16, 2011 in the Museums Special Section. The article discussed how museums are using social media like Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, Four Square and Twitter to engage with their constituents in the greater community outside the walls of the museums. The museums surveyed have taken different approaches to their adoption and implementation of social networking tools to engage with the community, but have remained true to the museum’s mission.

The challenge of adopting new technologies into the communication and engagement with constituents is not limited to museums. Most organizations (museums, libraries, schools, non-profits) also must learn to navigate these new tools and determine how they can best utilize them to stimulate engagement within their community and how to incorporate into their work flow.

Read article at