Noah Miller ’22 — First of all, I would like to thank the Wabash Public Policy Project, because without them I would not have had the opportunity to intern with the Interactivity Foundation this summer. It is by the generosity of donors and the WPPP that I and other Wabash students are able to have fantastic summer experiences such as mine. Secondly, I would like to thank my internship coordinator, Dr. Shannon Wheatley Hartman, who gave me the opportunity to be a contributing member as opposed to fetching coffees. I really appreciated your approach and felt that the knowledge gained this summer was invaluable.
This summer as an intern with the Interactivity Foundation’s education department I had the opportunity to help develop a collaborative discussion curriculum that will be used by schools and communities across the country. I created four different modules to be placed into the Collaborative Discussion Toolkit, and I took this as an opportunity to see what was missing from the Toolkit that I could add. The experience of developing curriculum materials was eye-opening as to the backend process that our professors and teachers go through to create the classes that we come to know. This experience gave me a deeper appreciation for all the hard work and time that goes into developing a classroom curriculum.
Not only did I get the opportunity to develop some curriculum, but I also had the opportunity to help present the Collaborative Discussion Toolkit at the NCDD Summer Springboard conference that took place in July. Helping present these materials to a national conference was a really fun experience that gave me the opportunity to work on my public speaking skills as well as network within the dialogue and deliberation community. As well as having the opportunity to present at a conference, internally the Interactivity Foundation ran two summer trainings to prepare professors and community leaders to implement the Collaborative Discussion Toolkit into their programs. These two pieces of training gave me a chance to learn more about the planning and organization of online, multi-day events.
Overall, my internship experience with the Interactivity Foundation allowed me to develop and refine personal skills while also having the opportunity to engage with people and materials in ways that I had not had the chance to before. The style of the Interactivity Foundation made me really reevaluate the way that I make choices and the need to exhaust exploration of the problem before needing to come to a concrete decision.