Not that this is the definitive reason for the web but certainly the potential for collective action for good needs to be emphasized and highlighted as teachers and schools work with students to move beyond the “looking up stuff” mentality.
Tom’s shoes (thanks to a tweet by Terry Storch) is a great example of corporations willing to do things differently.
This reminds me of efforts like, The Water Buffalo Story, Carrot-Mobs, Kiva and Give one Get one Laptops. Clay Shirky’s book details how this happens and while the corporate examples aren’t all about philanthropy, it is exciting to see businesses thinking differently. Consumers need to think differently. Schools need to think differently too. The groundswell of support that is enabled via the web makes these efforts possible. Is there a portal that collects these types of works? A tag? We need to collect these examples and begin to show our students how a shifting landscape of information and sharing can lead to new and positive change.