BetterGrads applies to speak at SXSW
We want to talk about what we have been trying to do with BetterGrads so far and what every educational initiative should know about social networks. Every year, high schools lose their most valuable resources when alumni leave for college. With online social networking, this doesn’t have to happen. Our presentation is about the importance of social capital for education. Most people know social capital from the book Bowling Alone: it’s the stuff that drives civic life. But it can drive many other things, like a student’s success in college or career.
As you know, at BetterGrads we connect recent graduates back to their public high schools as mentors, regardless of distance, because unlike their private school peers, public school students lack strong connections to successful alumni. This is basic social networking, made possible by tools we take for granted, like email and video chat. We want to make sure the value of social networking for social capital is not taken for granted by educators and entrepreneurs. We’ll talk about research informing our point of view, and program and technology decisions we’ve made to put social capital at the fore.