Saturday, July 7, 2007

Time Bank

What a cool concept! Basically a time bank is where you donate an hour or so of your time doing something for someone else in an area that you're strong in, like teaching how to use a digital camera, and then you earn a time dollar to spend by having someone else teach you something you want to learn, such as Yoga. The more you do for others, the more time dollars you earn to learn or get help from others in return.

Why post this on a blog about education? Simple. Students need to learn about service learning, and it's part of the Twenty First Century Skills (social responsibility). If your school sets up a "Time Bank", students can tutor younger students or their peers, and then cash in to learn something new from another Time Bank Contributor. For instance, you have one of these really smart kids who right now is ignored by the jocks and popular kids. This kid though is BRILLIANT at math and science and has a knack for helping others understand those tough subjects as well. However, this kid is scrawny and weak when it comes to physical strength. Now look at another student who is struggling in school, such as an athlete. (I hate stereotyping here, especially since at my old high school for the past 7 years an athlete has held the salutatorian and valedictorian spot). Anyway, pair these two up and the athlete can learn from the book smart student and then the book smart student can learn from an athlete.

Still not so sure. Okay, look at this scenario. You have a high school student who tutors a younger student for two hours a week for free. However, this kid would really like to take a digital photography class or another sort of lesson. The younger student can't help him out, but since he belongs to the "Time Bank" he cashes his "Time Dollars" in for lessons with another patron to learn digital photography. That person who teaches the high schooler digital photography cashes her dollars in for resume help.

Anyway, neat concept and so much that a school/district can do with it. Think about it.

1 comment:

Tom Turner said...

I do like this concept Danielle! So easy to tie in the service learning concept to some of the older kids...and if done right, the younger kids remember it when they move up to the upper grades as well.