Each year the National Youth Leadership Council convenes the National Service-Learning Conference. This year was the first time the event took place in our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. Like every other year, the event was inspiring, educational, and energizing featuring speakers such as Sandra Day O’Connor, Philippe Cousteau Jr., and Cassandra Lin. The National Service-Learning Conference is made up of 40% young people under the age of 24 and represents the GSN’s audience of adults and youth engaged in service-learning.
To capitalize on the opportunity we host focus groups each year with a set of youth and a set of adults who are GSN members. Each year our questions shift slightly depending on what we are trying to find information about. This year, given the updates to the GSN we asked about motivation and incentives. While we learned a lot from our members for future updates the two pieces of feedback the stood out related to digital badges and the project-planning tool were certificates and mobile access.
Educators are required and encouraged to engage in professional development to stay certified and move up the pay scale. In order to prove this, they must have documentation from the professional development organization. This made me realize that every member who earns a badge should be able to print out a certificate with their name on it and an explanation of what they had to do to earn the badge. For students this could count towards school or extra curricular activities as well.
The second suggestion of mobile access made me realize that I should have required the updates made to the GSN to be mobile accessible in the RFP. The question is, if one part of the site is optimized for mobile use but the other isn’t, is it still helpful. This can be a question for the bidders.