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Hosting an Online Skillshare for Gov 3.0

Blog post by the GovLab describing a recent experience organizing a student learning exchange using Unhangouts:

Every semester in the Gov 3.0 program, we conduct at least one “skillshare,” inviting the participants to teach to and learn from their peers. In past semesters, we’ve conducted these skillshares in person, as all of our participants were NYU students. This year, however, we’re working with a mixed classroom, consisting of 18 NYU students and 31 remote learners, who have been participating in the program online. This presented a new set of challenges when organizing the skillshare.

To solve this problem, we decided to host the skillshare online, using Google Hangout and The MIT Media Lab’s Unhangout platform. Using Unhangout, we were able to set up a number of “breakout rooms” where the skillshare sessions could be held via Google Hangout.

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Overall, we felt that the event was a success both in terms of the opportunites it afforded for participants to teach and learn relevant skills, as well as the connection it helped to facilitate between the NYU students and online participants. When organizing skillshares in the future, we’re very likely to use the Unhangout platform in a similar fashion.

The Gov 3.0 online mentoring an training program aims to help students to “develop the mindset and skillset for leveraging the power of institutions and networks to design and implement effective solutions to public interest challenges.”

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Related tools

A list of tools that are mentioned in this reference: