Here at Brainshark, employees have the chance to take part in our Shark Angels Volunteer Day Program. This program gives employees the opportunity to devote one day per year to volunteering at the charity of their choice, and additionally Brainshark provides a check for $100 to the charity.
Recently, my colleague Audrey Polce & I met some volunteers from a non-profit called e-Learning for Kids when we were attending the Masie Learning Conference in October, 2012. e-Learning for Kids is a global, non-profit foundation staffed by volunteers, and is dedicated to fun and free learning for children ages 5 to 12. All e-Learning for Kids content is developed using volunteer resources and is delivered free around the globe. e-Learning for Kids’ goal is to be recognized as the primary source for technology based learning, accessible everywhere in the world regardless of Internet connectivity. They currently have over 190 countries and more than 7 million children using their programs. The curriculum is primarily in English and, depending on funding, will include Spanish, Portuguese, French and other languages.
When we met them, they were looking for volunteers to create a science lesson plan and story board. We were assured that even though we had no background in this type of course development, it would be fairly easy and we could count on them for help. We discussed it and decided to take on the challenge. How hard could it be?
We went back to life and work and pretty much forgot all about it until we received an email message from them in early February with all of the relevant information. We had to create a lesson plan and storyboards for a course designed for six-year old, first graders about the sounds that might be heard in the Southern Ocean of Antarctica. We didn’t even know there was a Southern Ocean in Antarctica! The email also included a storyboard template to use and lesson plan examples. In all honesty, we felt lost but, we had already volunteered so we had to get it done.
We spent an hour together on the phone one evening as we researched sounds and life in and around the Southern Ocean, and were ready to fully immerse ourselves in it. Then Audrey remembered that two colleagues Liz Couchon & Shannon Hayward had created two eLearning for Kids story boards. So she thought that Liz would surely be an expert by now. Liz graciously accepted our plea for help and joined the team. With Liz’s help the pieces began to fall into place.
Thanks to Brainshark’s Shark Angel Program, Liz & I were able to complete the bulk of the project and get $200 for eLearning for Kids. With the finishing touches added by Audrey, the storyboard was ready to send to eLearning for Kids. Now we wait to see our ideas come to life as the eLearning for Kids programmers take our ideas and turn them into a finished product. We can’t wait to see the results!
If you are looking for a great way to make a difference in the world and help with the education of children, please think about becoming an eLearning for Kids volunteer.