Monday, December 10, 2007

CIT 2007 - General Session - Dr. Randall Pinkett

My apologies for the delays in completing my posts from CIT 2007, but it's been a crazy few weeks here with end of semester wrap-up, meetings, and the general chaos of the fall semester at NSCC.

Now back to CIT 2007...

Dr. Randall Pinkett, Apprentice winner and founder of BCT Partners, a socially conscious consulting firm was the speaker. A very engaging and interesting figure, Dr. Pinkett spoke on the issues around connected colleges/connected communities - the role of community colleges in ensuring technological equality.

He spoke of guidelines for community technology:
  • Empower
  • Engage
  • Emphasize outcome, not access
And principles for community building:
  • Asset based
  • Internally focussed
  • Relationship driven
He described in detail a joint project with MIT at Camfield Estates in Camfield MA - the Creative Community Connections project. In this project housing project residents were provided with computers and training n their use. the results were that residents ended up with reinforced loyalties, heightened awareness, and much more social networking happened. a fantastic example of taking learning out into the community.

Overall the quality of life of the residents was enhanced, but to ensure success of these kinds of initiatives the community members must be engaged as active participants - and there are a lot of opportunities for these kinds of community engagements. The service learning opportunities would provide amazing learning for faculty, staff, and learners of any community college.

Dr. Pinkett is a very inspiring, driven person who has developed some great approaches to community development - BCT Partners are taking some innovative approaches to community development that as educators and community colleges we need to take a look at. For another perspective on Dr. Pinkett's presentation, check out this post from Randommind.

What an inspiring individual - Rhodes scholar, author, and dedicated to the improvement of communities - something we should all aspire too...

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