Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cardinal Innovation Center Today: Cowboys, Service Dogs, Tech Squad and Social Media Posse

My Google Certified Innovator Project, the Cardinal Innovation Center, has been called an "onion on steroids" due to its many layers. Two of those layers is the Cardinal Tech Squad and Social Media Posse. Like many schools across the world, student tech teams are being formed to provide IT and tech integration services. In forming the Cardinal Tech Squad, I envisioned a team that had reached beyond the school site into the community and beyond

At this point, the Cardinal Tech Squad has done the bulk of its work with parents getting them signed up with Gmail and access to the Illuminate Parent Portal to check their kids' grades. An amazing opportunity to work with the Assistance Service Dog Education Center (ASDEC) from nearby Woodlake, CA fell into our lap. My mother, volunteers for ASDEC weekly to help train golden retrievers to be service dogs for a plethora of needs ranging from picking up objects to PTSD to low blood sugar detection for diabetics. 

One day, after volunteering, my mom brought it to my attention that ASDEC is struggling financially and needs to build a larger digital footprint in order to attract more business, volunteers and donors. Immediately, the Cardinal Tech Squad and Social Media Posse jumped to mind. I saw this as an opportunity to empower students to help ASDEC stay afloat, grow and continue to change the lives of people with special needs. If successful, my students, with their burgeoning tech skills, would be making a huge difference in the lives of many. 

It was brought to our attention that many celebrities have been known to donate to such causes. Our challenge is to get their attention via social media, blogging and a new website. The old ASDEC website had not been maintained in years. The Cardinal Tech Squad, all two of them, began building a new website to showcase the Center's mission, vision and services provided. The Social Media Posse created a Twitter account for ASDEC.

Today, to accelerate our efforts, ASDEC founder Gerald Whittaker brought his protege and a handful of volunteers to do a live demonstration for some Orosi High School students. Members of the Tech Squad attended and took notes to continue developing the website. 

The Social Media Posse posted images and video clips on Instagram and Snapchat. Take a look below to see some of the sights and sounds from this great learning experience. In addition, the entire demo was live streamed on YouTube. Click here to view.


If interested in volunteering, donating or learning more about ASDEC, please contact Gerald Whittaker at (559) 564-7297.

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