Silver Chips Online

Blair teacher starts educational forum on Facebook

Social studies teacher Kevin Shindel starts "Share Your Ground," now on Facebook

By Jacob Popper, Op/Ed Editor
November 20, 2013
Last month, Blair social studies teacher Kevin Shindel created the educational forum "Share Your Ground," a page that posts different discussion starters such as articles and questions five or six times a week. Currently a Facebook page, the forum had its first post on Oct. 27. and has accumulated 375 likes. The page is run by Shindel and a team of Blazers that volunteered to help.

The Share Your Ground Facebook page already has over 350 likes. Courtesy of Share Your Ground Facebook page
The Share Your Ground Facebook page already has over 350 likes.
The forum's goal is to create a place where students with different beliefs can communicate about different pressing issues in society. "It's a place where people can dialogue and be innovative," Shindel said. He also intends for "Share Your Ground" to help people develop collaborative skills that can help them better their lives through employment, skill students are not learning in the current system. "These are things the public education system is not currently providing," he said.

Another benefit of the website would be that it could allow teachers to use it as part of the educational environment. "The objective is to create a website and involve both students and teachers," said Share Your Ground board member and Blair senior Reva Resstack. Having the website would allow teachers to use it without having to tell students to go on the non-academic website of Facebook.

According to Shindel, finding a group of Blazers to help out wasn't a challenge at all. "We got back to school, I talked to my seniors about what I planned on doing and asked, 'Who wants to help?'" he said. Shindel and the group of students have weekly meetings during lunch to discuss topics such as fundraising, discussion articles and ways to improve the Facebook site.

The team intends to raise money and eventually create their own "Share Your Ground" website where people can create accounts and participate in forums and chat rooms. The website would also include questions of the day and issues to challenge. So far progress has been slow. Shindel says there is still no timetable for when they plan to launch the website. They plan to raise the money in multiple ways. "We want to have someone make a video for a crowd funding site like Kickstarter or Indiegogo and we've also applied for a grant," Shindel said.

He also intends to create a small profit through crowd funding and donations, but mainly to prove a point that you can make money and have a positive impact as well. Shindel reiterates the importance of making a positive impact on the world. "It's the idea that you don't have to sacrifice your life in order to do good stuff," Shindel said.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/12265