The Importance of Universities
Universities are shaping the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators. The contributions from students attending universities will work to change the world, starting with their work today. Higher-education institutions are an asset to communities around the world, and will be able to facilitate the process of mapping cities and creating the content for digital storytelling, among many other things.
Currently, the ACT Exchange has partnerships with Centre College (Kentucky, United States) and St. Petersburg State University (St. Petersburg, Russia). Thus far, students from each of these institutions have contributed to the ACT Exchange in different ways. However, as the platform has become operable, the ACT Exchange is shifting to focus upon collecting content to display to users of the mobile application.
We are looking for universities to partner with us to contribute to the mapping of their cities.
Universities provide structure to the process of mapping a city. By organizing students from one particular course, a city neighborhood could be mapped, information collected for digital storytelling, or particular highlights identified. For example, history professors could direct students to map historically significant monuments or buildings in their city as a project for the course. Of course, that is only one example of the numerous possibilities that could emerge from universities endeavoring to map a city. The importance of students cannot be understated when exploring the possibilities with ACT Exchange projects.
There are numerous benefits for universities that engage in city mapping and the creation of digital storytelling material. Networking opportunities for students will emerge very quickly, as they become involved in their local community. Not all students go to a university that is located in or near their hometown, and escaping the “bubble,” as it were, of their campus community can be difficult at times. City mapping can present new opportunities, connections, and experiences for university students. Not to mention if students are out and communicating with local service providers in their community, it is possible that they will foster new connections and potential leads for internships, jobs, or further study.
Similarly, universities can expand their own network of contacts in the local community. Especially for “college towns,” where much of the economic and vibrant aspects of the area derive from the presence of a university, this is very important. Integration of the university into the local community can benefit service providers, students, and administration. Resources will become available, and deeper relationships between community members and the university will be created.
Once engaged with the ACT Exchange, your university will have access to other universities who also partner with ACT to complete the mapping of their cities. Ideas, information, and discoveries can be shared between students from different cities or different countries. In a time when the world seems to be shrinking, and people are able to more easily able to communicate regardless of location, bringing universities together through ACT Exchange projects can have benefits for digitally documenting history and beyond the scope of city mapping alone.