A brief introduction to the educationbridges plan.Â
It’s the first day of 2007 and it’s now time, I think, to put some long time plans into action. I won’t go too far into the background of all this today, suffice it to say that the good folks at the Nord Family Foundation got us started on this road, we’ve had some people step up and offer their help (and would love some more), and we think that the time is ripe to create a supportive structure to help underwrite some very good work that is being done in the educational community.
Educationbridges is a company that is yet to be, a non-profit in the making, that hopes to help fund some of the great work that educators are currently doing online. We want to create this company to help fund online collaborative projects that are currently being done by educators. We are going to approach various charitable foundations and request funding to do two major things
- Offer edugrants to individual and small groups of teachers
- Help support online collaborative projects like edtechtalk (and many others)
Over the last two years we’ve been approached by many teachers who were interested in starting a project at their own schools. They are constantly faced with the same questions.
- Who do we trust?
- How can we get non-biased advice about what is important for our students to learn about using technology?
- How do we get funding?
- What’s a good platform for (fill in blank)?
- How can I make my project sustainable?
- What are other people doing?
There are many others. The idea of the edugrant is to solve many of these issues. In short, a teacher would apply to educationbridges with an idea. We would most likely help get them involved with a community of people who were currently working on the same sort of work, thereby saving them the time, money and effort of starting a new project on their own. If their work is particularly novel, or seems to need funding of its own, we would start the funding application process. If a candidate were successful, we might find an appropriate consultant nearby (or, likely, set them up with one online) who can help them through the critical project management phase of their project and then present us with a joint report on their financial needs. The intention is to bridge the gap between the teachers who don’t have the 100 hours it could take to do a funding application directly to a foundation… and those foundations who might be interested in helping many different educational institutions and might not have the ‘on the ground’ individual contacts (national and international) that we might have.Supporting online collaborationÂ
This is about sustainability. There are many great projects going on right now. It seems unlikely that they will be able to continue indefinitely without some kind of support. While there is the option of corporate sponsorship, we would like to offer and alternative. Online collaborative projects that serve the entire educational community sponsored by foundation money… distributed through educationbridges.
Edtechtalk, through its affiliation with worldbridges, has had the opportunity to support a great many different endeavours, some of them educational projects, some of them ed tech shows. There’s a great deal of data for research lying around, a bunch of websites in need of editing, design and management and alot of good work that we’ve had to turn down through a simple lack of time. We have been fortunate to accumulate a great many good friends and compatriots during this time, and alot of good work has been done. Funding would mean that we could continue the work that we are doing and expand our work to offer more ‘services’ to teachers.
You are all invited along for the ride. If you read through the information at the educationbridges link above, you’ll see where we are at. If you want to help, and can see a place in this project for yourself, please feel free to email me at dave _at_ educationbridges D0T org. If you haven’t the foggiest idea if you have a place in this project, or think that I’ve lost my mind… feel free to email me anyway. This project will not ‘get done’ by me. It will live or die on community involvement. I’m almost sure that there is a need for this kind of company… I will only be really sure once the community picks up on the challenge and joins the network.
3 thoughts on “Educationbridges – Edugrants and Online Collaboration”
Sounds interesting. Many possibilities. What are your thoughts concerning how the organization will be managed and how funding decisions will be made? What are the next few steps you’re planning to take in order to move from vision to reality?
well… The link at educationbridges http://educationbridges.org/node/55 gives a quick sense of how that would work. The next immediate step is to get the articles of incorporation finished. Then we will probably do a few interactive shows to get a sense of how the community feels about the initial idea, frame it a little better… And then, I’m thinking, I’d like to contact someone at, say, the macarthy foundation and talk to them about grants. We may need to go for smaller funding to get the funding necessary to get more funding (to pay grant writers etc…) but I would like to see us start the grant writing process by the end of March.
I have an idea about a grant possibility for World Bridges – the US Dept of Ed has just released the newest Teaching American History grant – due on March 1. See website:
http://www.ed.gov/programs/teachinghistory/applicant.html. Send me an email if you’d like to discuss further.