Our Portal at the Association of College & Research Libraries connected conference attendees to librarians around the world! The Association of College & Research Libraries is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is the largest division of the American Library Association (ALA). ACRL currently has a membership of more than 11,000 members, accounting for nearly 20% of the total ALA membership.
The Organization for Youth Empowerment (OYE) is an award-winning youth development NGO based in El Progreso, Honduras that creates youth leaders through scholarships, leadership workshops, and community engagement initiatives in the arts and sports. They received the White House National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award in 2015 for their work. The Portal is located at the largest high school in El Progreso called, La Perla.
Imagine Group V girls laughing and writing stories with young Iraqis living in a displaced persons’ camp and longing for contact with the outside world. Picture an Upper School English class meeting with Honduran high school students to discuss the global reach of hip-hop music. Envision GA dancers collaborating with peers in Afghanistan, or Spanish classes speaking in the target language with children in Mexico. These were the possibilities created by the GA_Portal, a gold shipping container housing immersive audio-visual technology that connects to a global network.
St. Edward’s is a dynamic Catholic, liberal arts university in Austin. We brought a Portal Container to their campus for the Fall 2016 semester. They put it to dynamic use, connecting it to our global network for classes, performances, and more.
The American Center Student Council (ACSC) is an organization that helps students gain access to global educational materials. By partnering with them, along with Turning Tables, a youth empowerment group, and a group called Fringe Diplomacy, based at the Aspen Institute in Washington DC, we are able to draw upon a wide base of support in Yangon.
Working with partners across Vanderbilt University, including their art museum and undergraduate dean, we set up a Portal at the center of campus for one month in 2015. Students across Vanderbilt engaged students in Mexico City through Portals for conversations, artist collaborations, language classes and more.