Towards Production

My post the other day shared some of my thoughts on what Central might be able to do to encourage students towards the gift of being able to think. If we go that route, and I hope we do, it’s going to be a long process to do right – and, frankly, I won’t be the main administrator of the mission because I’d like it to succeed. I’ve got some folks in mind who just might be waiting for this calling.

One of the ways I’d like to start, however, is to begin the process of shifting students from a consumption mentality towards a production mentality. Consumers, after all, really don’t need to know how they obtain goods an services – they just need to know where to get them. In order to learn how to think, we need to interrupt that never-ending process of ignorant consumption – and the best way is to become producers.

In a way, we live in a time where this is a relatively easy switch to make. The ubiquitous presence of the web, along with tools like twitter, youtube, facebook, and blogs allow people the opportunities to actually produce something – if only someone would sit down and help people grow in appreciation for the processes that open up this incredible world to people.

So, I’m thinking I’ll start with what I know. I know technology, and I know the power of networking. I can use these understanding to help students shift towards being producers in a small way.

How?

We’ll start a Tri-boro blog – and run it like an online newspaper (that doesn’t need to turn a profit so hopefully we won’t become irrelevant in the way the newspapers are).

What I envision doing is getting together a team and teaching the the process of what it takes to run a web-site and develop content. We’ll design the template, pick a CMS, and look at the back end setup for a domain.

Beyond that I’d love to bring in volunteers who could teach the students about digital photography, the nature of the Web, and maybe even get them on a field trip to an actual data center. Heck, I might even show them how a database works. Yes it’s really geeky, but I need to go with what I know, right? The point, is that students learn how to think about what’s happening when they use the Net – from as low an abstraction point as possible.

The content of the blog could be restaurant reviews, interviews with local figures (political, athletic, business, educational, and religious), a community event board, and write ups on various news around town. Ideally, we could get a couple of actual reporters to teach students the art of observation, interviewing, and writing.

How fun would this be?

Other production ideas could be a community vegetable garden, and maybe even a “make your own clothes” club (my daughter love that). As I’m incapable of actually implementing those, I’ll just throw those out for people to pick up.

Anyway, whatcha think? I’m thinking that 7th grade would the low end of the age pool for the town blog. Would you go younger? Older?

6 Comments

  1. Bob says:

    Count me in. Great idea! I can help in some of these areas. I think it would be a great way to get kids in this area doing productive things, that certainly they can take with them moving foward.

  2. Bob says:

    one more thought on the age group: Let us start with 7th and up, but encourage some of the younger folks to particatipate in the community. I know my 10 year old would be happy to help do resturant reviews!

  3. coffeezombie says:

    That is a *wonderful* idea. I’ve thought for a while that our economy’s biggest problem is that we have largely become a nation of consumers, not producers. We consume products that are largely made overseas, and produce nothing of value on our own.

    Well, in addition to that, we encourage everyone to get a white-collar job, implying that blue-collar jobs are for people either to lazy or stupid to go to college.

    But anyway, off my soapbox, that sounds like a great idea. Go for it! Hope you can find some good people to help out!

  4. Cathi says:

    I’m not sure I totally grasp the whole thought, but I am willing to help where I can. I know little of the proscesses of the internet or webpages, but I can usually compose a decent story, and I can usually get kids to understand concepts and think beyond what is in front of them. So, if you have a job, I am willing. Here is another thought though, I was planning on creating a garden behind the area where the “pulpit” stands in the summer. Nothing fancy, but something that will emphasis the beauty of God’s creation to dwell on while we dwell on the spoken words of God. I was just going to do it, but would it serve a purpose to involve youth in the planning and then labor? Creating a garden is a pretty hands on way of “producing”, with pretty quick gratification. Let me know your thoughts.

  5. wezlo says:

    Hey Cath, yah – that would be a neat project to do with some youth. If you want to recruit, that would be amazing…

  6. Mel says:

    So that’s what the blog thing is. I like it. I don’t know how I can be helpful but I’m willing to help anyway.

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