Community Development Key Topic at Engagement Scholarship Consortium

ESCConference LogoRepresentatives from the Center for Digital Inclusion and partners from the Champaign-Urbana community are focusing on community development at the 2013 Engagement Scholarship Consortium gathering in Lubbock, Texas.

Martin Wolske, Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, will participate in two symposium sessions and is also attending the Outreach and Engagement Staff (OESW) pre-conference sessions. In addition, Wolske has helped to plan the event and worked to champion better support for Champaign-Urbana community partners who attend the conference.

“Last year, community partners expressed some concerns about their inclusion in the conference that we are working to address this Fall,” said Wolske. “One realization was that the pre-conference has served as a way to develop a community of practice that helps give greater direction during the main conference. Therefore, this fall we are inviting community partners to attend the second half of the OESW pre-conference to both open up deeper conversation and learning between staff and partners, and to also provide support to partners as they prepare to attend the full conference.

Wolske’s committee has planned a fishbowl event titled “Partnerships: The Inside Story.” Tracy Dace and Sally Carter will be one of 20 community partners joining 45 engagement staff for the pre-conference, and both will join me in leading off the fishbowl conversation. Support for travel has been generously provided by OESW, CDI, and a “Mix IT Up!” grant.

Details on Wolske’s symposium sessions are below.

Boundary­Spanning and Border­Crossing: Connecting Religion and Technology in Service­Learning

  • Religion and technology share the paradox of being two of history’s most connective and divisive forces. This presentation shares what theological educators and community informatics researchers are learning as they collaborate to design a more socially and digitally inclusive service-learning model of progressive religious formation.
  • Co-presentation with faculty from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

Information and Communication Technologies for Community Development: Engaged Scholarship Approaches

  • Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) can be tools for community development. How do top-notch research universities make ICT relevant for community development in ways that respect, include, and benefit the communities they are embedded in? Researchers (and community members) working with University of Washington and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign will discuss some of their work with ICT in local communities in Seattle, WA and Champaign-Urbana, IL.
  • Librarians from The Urbana Free Library will be joining remotely as part of the presentation.

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