Several years ago, at iFLT14 in Denver, I was very much impressed by Leslie Davison who gave an interesting workshop “20% projects for the WL classroom”. The title happened to be inspired by the Google project to use 20% of the time for projects. “Google described its startup ideal of “20 percent time,” where any employee could take a day’s worth of time out of the normal work week and come up with a cool project to work on”.
Leslie showed us a.o. how you can use microfinance, “microcrédit” as a means of in- and output in the WL classroom. Every year I want to use this idea with my upper level students, but somehow I never do it… So this year I’m planning on using it, by writing about it here, in order that I really have to do it!
In her workshop Leslie had us go to the site of Kiva = “loans that change lives” – empower people around the world with a $25 loan: dreams are universal, opportunity is not. Lend as little as $25 to create opportunity for people around the world.
Somehow I remember reading the descriptions in Spanish, but it all seems English now… The site of Babyloan is in English and in French. I’m going to use it with my French students.
In Leslie’s workshop, we – in groups of two or some more (?) – had to find someone or a project we wanted to loan $25 to. We had 6 (or 10?) minutes to make a presentation in Spanish, put it on Google presentations and then convince the rest of the group – in Spanish – in one minute (!) why the 25 dollar should go to “our” project.
There were about 5 presentations. After the presentations we had to vote for the one we wanted to give the money to and then Leslie really made the loan of the 25 dollar with the money on her Kiva-account to the winning group. What a wonderful idea!!
When the money is paid back, it’s lent to another project. Leslie told us that with her students at school, some groups got to be so exited about “their project” – which hadn’t been elected – that they put money together and lent 25 dollar to their project and followed it! How cool!