Helping Schools: Digital Volunteering Is Here To Stay
The digital volunteering trend is here to stay.
More volunteers are helping schools with their digital educational needs, and it’s not just because of the pandemic. Numerous volunteering opportunities started arising shortly after the pandemic, but it’s been long since and as we can see — volunteering digitally is definitely the way forward.
Volunteering was often seen as a short-term commitment once. But since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, researchers from Germany noticed a change in the 2020–2022 trends. And while they argue that digital volunteering might not be as effective and accessible as in-person volunteering, it’s a fact that digital volunteering is turning into a long-term commitment for most involved.
How are volunteers helping schools out?
Volunteers are helping schools with their digital needs as more and more students are using technology in school and at home, and some teachers need help understanding how to use it effectively. Teachers also need help learning how to use apps and online programs that can be used as learning tools in class.
The technical aspect
Digital volunteers help by giving hands-on assistance with technology-related tasks such as using a specific app or device, entering data into an online system, or creating a new website for the school. They can also help with basic computer troubleshooting or provide training on how to use software programs such as Microsoft Word or Photoshop.
Teachers who have never used Google Docs before might need assistance setting up an account for themselves and their students. Others might need help organizing their folders so that they are accessible from any device (like desktop computers, laptops or tablets). You could even offer your services as a “tech mentor” where you provide one-on-one instruction on how best utilize your school’s resources like Google Drive or Dropbox folders!
Meetings and lectures nowadays take place via online tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Hangouts, and other programs. And while teenagers find it easier to grasp a new program, that’s not always the case with tutors. Anyone can become a digital volunteer — even you!
The teaching aspect
Volunteering online also covers a wide range of topics that can be taught remotely. If you’re IT, a marketing specialist, or even good at languages then you could consider becoming a volunteering tutor. Help take off the workload off teachers’ shoulders by taking on part of the curriculum and teaching to kids.
It probably never crossed your mind that you could become a Lab volunteer, digitally. But that’s possible now with the growing digital volunteering opportunities. The Smithsonian Learning Lab is offering this possibility to those who would like to contribute in expanding the free online toolkit offering visual exploration of millions of digital museum resources.
Not keen on tutoring or afraid you don’t have any experience? That’s totally fine! You can still contribute as a digital volunteer by creating lesson plans for students looking to study individually and independently. Show off your skills and knowledge with others without any face-to-face interactions. It’s all possible thanks to the digital technologies.
Volunteering online allows those who don’t live close by to participate in school activities as well as giving them flexibility when it comes time for meetings with other members of the community or even just socialization with friends and neighbors over coffee or lunch breaks at work! You don’t need special skills or training to become a digital volunteer — just some free time on your hands!
And an hour at a time is all it takes to make a difference. Check out the opportunities provided by 1HOUR and sign up as a volunteer today. And I promise — it’s not as time consuming as you might think.