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Service Learning in the Dynamic Classroom

Join EarthEcho International and a panel of partners, on Digital Learning Day (#DLDay), as we explore the difference between service-learning and community service. How have classrooms across the country made the transition to high quality service learning? How can you guide your students, while allowing their voice to be heard? What “next steps” can you take with your students towards service learning? How can you effectively utilize technology in service learning? 

Digitgal resources from John Hamerlinck: 

Maryland State Department of Education's Service Learning Website: 

Come with questions and leave with a plan for service learning in your classroom.


Meet our panelists

Mary Breslin 

Mary values the importance of teaching a younger generation how to create a more sustainable environment, and her personal and professional experiences help her inspire students to tackle environmental issues. The success of Mary’s students is due in part to the support of multiple partnerships that bring her students unique learning experiences. Earth Force, the Winkler Botanical Preserve, EarthEcho and the Alexandria Seaport Foundation have supported her students through grant writing and project implementation. Technology has also played a vital role in Mary’s students’ ability to connect to the real world. From helping to save a botanical preserve to a student project being mentioned in a national publication, Mary teaches her students they can make a difference.

Her solution-focused approach has led to opportunities such as being a STAR fellow at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in 2012 by the Siemens STEM Academy. In 2013 the EPA and White House Council on Environmental Quality honored Mary with the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. She is currently using her success to show her students that focusing on innovative solutions can create positive change.


John Hamerlinck

John Hamerlinck is the Associate Director for the Minnesota Campus Compact. His work is rooted in a passionate commitment to finding and effectively mobilizing hidden or under-appreciated capacities of organizations and communities. John also has an interest in information and communications technology, which led him to establish the Center for Digital Civic Engagement in 2010. John created the CDCE to serve as a resource for sharing information on the innovate use of digital technologies to support civic engagement in higher education and service-learning in online teaching. He has experience in the private, government, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors. John has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics from popular culture to entrepreneurship. He holds a B.A. in American Studies and an M.S. in Social Responsibility from St. Cloud State University.

Julie Ayers

Julie Ayers is the Service-Learning Specialist for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Youth Development Branch where she oversees Maryland’s ground breaking service-learning graduation requirement. Ms. Ayers’ work with service-learning combines her loves of education, youth empowerment, and civic action.  She’s taught at the Florida Institute of Technology and been an adjunct instructor at Loyola College of Maryland.  She has also worked in the Maryland non-profit poverty solutions sector and was responsible for developing the Kids Helping Kids anti-hunger curriculum. In 1992, she helped to launch and continues to facilitate, a master teacher program called Maryland Service-Learning Fellows in an effort to develop local resources and leaders in this field.