Niche Networking

Developing online"Greek organizations" that will empower/encourage like minded students/graduates beyond high school as they...

Photo of Shawn Dougherty
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This idea is one component of a broader and much more developed concept.

Inspired by the Minerva Project and the research of Robert Putnam, I envision a national network of cloud based schools. Each school would be comprised of three geographically separate campuses from across our economically and culturally divided nation into one academic community. Intentionally designed to expose all students to the full spectrum of our nation's diversity, utilizing next generation video conferencing and cloud based computing along with a semester long student exchange and shared faculty, these schools would expose all students to the full spectrum and stark reality of contemporary American culture.

As a component of this design these schools would foster the development of organic virtual communities, most closely resembling fraternities and sororities, that would seek to empower/encourage like minded students/graduates to find one another in order to encourage, mentor, support their academic/professional pursuits beyond high school.

These organizations, established during high school, would be curated by faculty/counselors who would provide college-advising and guidance, not leadership, to the students/graduates as they navigate the emerging professional landscape.  I would imagine these organizations expanding and merging over time to meet the professional/academic networking needs of the group.


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Photo of Jessica Lura

It is interesting to see how cloud schools will do in the future.  Are your initial schools high schools where then the students stay connected virtually in college?

Photo of Shawn Dougherty

Yes, having a broad range of economically, culturally, and geographically diverse students interact both physically and virtually throughout their high school experience will provide them with a full spectrum of benefits in college and beyond.  I'm very interested in pursuing this project further BUT it requires a high school experience that does not yet exist.  Staying connected and developing an effective, sustainable network of support must be self-perpetuating.  The project as I see it is less a technological question and more a question of culture.  Thoughts..?  Direction..??