Save our Summer: the SOS Project 2009
Coming July 6th, 2009
The SOS Classroom

With summer school canceled in LAUSD and elsewhere for K-8 students, parents, teachers and students are banding together to Save Our Summer School by using Web 2.0 technology to get resources to the kids who need them most.

Problem: Despite all the talk of the crumbling U.S. educational system, LAUSD has canceled summer school (completely for elementary and Middle school), after years of scaling it back from 6 weeks to 4 weeks. Not only does this create an additional burden on families, this decision will also mean even more students who are not performing at grade level, presenting an even greater strain on our public schools.

Use Web 2.0 tools to collect, organize, and redistribute free online educational resources for the students and families to use.

Background: This is the age of Web 2.0. The era of crowdsourcing. A time when Wikipedias are built by the world wide web users (and a few hundred dedicated volunteer editors). At the same time, the Internet is overflowing with educational content. However, this content is like the supply closet in the overcrowded school: disorganized, inaccessible, impossible to navigate effectively. What if we could navigate. Better yet, what if we could begin to tag resources for the appropriate learning level and present those to students, teachers and families in one location. Better still, what if we could do this without creating another bureaucracy, but instead draw upon the democracy of the Internet.


* Crowdsource the tagging of resources
* Host on Free online aggregation site
* Offer some tools for dialogue.

Note: This proposal is not meant to replace summer school or to justify its removal. These are not credit-baring activities. This project is meant to provide easily accessible and well-organized curriculum to students, parents, and teachers to help ease some of the hardship of the cancellation of this program.

Who we are: An interested group of educators and students. The core members of the SOS Project team are working in a service learning project in a USC upper division writing course that emphasizes networked writing technology. But we are also the crowdsourced, networked volunteer educators. We are parents, teachers, and students trying to Save Our Summers.

Contact Educators: June 11-20
Publicize Program: June 15-July 6
Role Out Beta Version: July 6

Methodology: Crowdsourcing
The goal is to solicit free online educational content. To share links, participants can either send an email or use Diigo or Delicious bookmarks. We intend to solicit links from:
Listservs, Google Groups, Discussion Boards, etc. Note: Not all links will be used. We will exclude any material not suitable for a general audience (as young as kindergarten).

To Send via Email:
send to:
Subject: (the name of the subject: LangArts, Math, Science) and (the grade level: GradesK12, Grades345, Grades678)

To send via Social Bookmarking, using, Diigo, or Twitter.

Tagging methodology:
All web pages should have at minimum the primary tag of “sosproject” for us to see the page. We will later vet and reorganize all recommended links. Twitter hashtag: #sosproject. We also have a Diigo group, “SOS Project,” that you can join.

Primary Tag
sosproject (all pages tagged with this)

Secondary tags:
LangArts Math Science Programs (this last one is for alt. summer schools)
[when possible add additional tags describing the content: arithmetic, algebra)

Tertiary Tags:
GradesK12, Grades345, Grades678

Additional areas for tagging: content (addition, subtraction, phonics), type of resource (game, video, worksheet, quiz, assessment)

Project Director:
Mark Marino, Ph.D.
Writing Program
University of Southern California

Project Staff:

Upper Division writing students enrolled in Writing 340
Online volunteers: teachers, parents, students all tagging the technology.

Advisory Board:

Jeremy Douglass, Ph.D.
Software Studies
UC San Diego

Elizabeth Losh, Ph.D.
Dir. Humanities Core
UC Irvine

Brad Lupien

John Newsom MAT (LMU)
Educational Consultant

David Parry, Ph.D.
Emerging Media and Communications
University of Texas Dallas

Kevin Schaaf, MAT, MPP

Bill Tierney, Ph.D
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California
Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis

Michael Wesch, Ph.D.
Digital Ethnography
Kansas State University
Cultural Anthropology

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