Beyond the Classroom Technology

4 Engaging Ways to Digitize Service & Volunteerism

Adding a digital component to service efforts can add an increase in student interest.

It’s never too early to instill a passion for service and volunteerism in today’s youth. Finding projects and volunteer efforts with which students can connect and start to make a difference in the lives of others will start to make a big difference in how students view their own place within society. Adding a tech component to their humanitarian endeavors may be just what students need to garner the motivation to get involved. These four apps and/or web resources are a perfect way to have a digital connection encourage a personal connection to service and volunteerism.

Volunteer Match — This website has opportunities for volunteers of all ages to find their perfect service fit. Volunteer connections can be made by selecting your location, age level, and area(s) of interest. Opportunities are displayed on a calendar, so members can find next-day options or plan for a service project at a later date. Filters can be applied that narrow searches by age level or individual vs. group options. Featured causes include Advocacy & Human Rights, Children & Youth, Education & Literacy, Seniors, Community, Animals, Disaster Relief, and many more. An excellent way to find a perfect match!

Nobly – The Pay It Forward App — Based on the popular movie and world-wide trend, Nobly is an app designed to encourage users to pay it forward. Users are on the lookout for Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) and capture them to share and inspire others. It’s easy to follow a live feed of RAK from around the world. A Chain of Good Deeds can be created using Nobly cards, and users can follow all of the good deeds performed on a chain. Chain creators are alerted when deeds are completed or others follow their creation. The use of hashtags makes it easy to keep track of all ideas of interest. A simple and engaging way to inspire good in surrounding communities and across time zones!

Reward Volunteers — A perfect way for volunteers to keep track of their hours. Reward Volunteers is a free and simple way to log time spent completing service opportunities. Volunteers receive Reach points for their service hours. These points give users a chance to earn cash and prizes for their volunteer organizations and themselves. Sharing activity information via Facebook and/or email can earn additional points. A great way to shine a light on humanitarian efforts while earning even more rewards for important volunteer organizations.

Charity Miles: Walking and Running Distance Tracker — Service and fitness make a winning combination! The Charity Miles app tracks the walking, running, and biking miles a user completes. Miles logged earn money for a sponsored charity of a user’s choosing. Over two million dollars have already been given to over 40 charities. Participating charities include Autism Speaks, World Wildlife Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Wounded Warrior Project, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and many more. A wonderful opportunity for students to connect with a charity of their choosing and get healthy while making a contribution.

Whether students are logging miles, capturing random acts of kindness, connecting with the perfect local organization, or tracking their service hours, they’re learning to make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others. Finding engaging ways to spark an interest in volunteerism and service is at their fingertips. With these four digital options, students can power up to make a powerful change in the world.

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