It’s been months and months now since the incredibly fast and shocking death of our friend Lee Baber. Many of us in the Edtechtalk community can still be heard saying “wow, Lee would have loved that” or “man… she would so know how to do that”. For those of you who weren’t fortunate enough to have the pleasure (and very occasional frustration LOL) of knowing Lee Baber she was one of the foundational members of the edtechtalk community. An educator from Virginia, passionate about her students, her music, her community… everything that I’ve ever known her to come into contact with she was ‘all in’. Never was there a plan, however off-the-wall where Lee couldn’t be heard to say ‘I’m in’. And the great thing about Lee is that she was. Always. She’d be there, cheery and resolute. With a hand or just a virtual smile. She’s dearly missed.
My pitch for the First Annual Lee Baber Jamboree
Over the last six months of so, word has been circling in ETT backchannels that we should do something to commemorate one of the best educators to ever grace our digital space. We mulled it over and came up with a plan that, I think, best suits the memory of our friend. This summer we’re going to hold a Jamboree of teaching projects, we’ll send out word wherever we can for people to put together projects that they’d like to do and then have a weekend where we present them, go over them and offer advice on how to carry them out. There are alot of us, in this edtechtalk community and beyond, alot of experience, a bunch of hard knocks and enough connections and know-how to help any number of teachers take their first steps towards doing any number of cool projects. I’m going to ask for as many volunteers as I can find, we’ll call in a few favours, and we’ll see what we can do for as many people as need helping (and we can help)
Win a community
postnote: it was obvious to me right after i wrote this that ‘ONE’ winner doesn’t make sense. I’m thinking it will have to be more. Need more thinking on this.
One teacher, however… the one voted ‘most deserving’, for the Lee-est project, will win the Lee-est of awards. We’ll add them to a special backchannel and give them access to as many of the ETT community as we can find. Year long access. A full school year of access to maybe 20 (haven’t convinced everyone yet, who knows, might be 50) Ed Tech professionals for them to call upon at any time of day… the idea being that one of us will be there at any given time to help them through their project. We’re an entirely free community (as in speech and beer) we pay for our server space with money that we cobble together through various little projects we do for people… so we don’t have any to give away. What we do have, however, is a rhizomatic knowledge base. We have, between the bunch of us, tried an awful lot of what’s out there… and are hoping to give that to one deserving person.
How can you help?
Well… you can make this idea better for one. I’m mulling over the idea of trying to convince a foundation to join together with us and help fund some of these projects… I don’t think it’s ‘necessary’ but it’d be awfully cool. You can make the existing idea better… I’m sure it can be better. Most importantly, you can join the team. Just add a comment to this post and offer your help for the project. I’m hoping it can be a showcase for the power of communities to go out and help teachers outside of the regular ‘funding and adminstrative’ models. Not that those are bad, but i think that communities… knowledge communities have a place in this too. Volunteer to come out and lend a hand with the teachers who (we hope) will send in their projects and questions. Offer to join the ‘winner’s community’. Or… just tell us what you think.
So far who are we?
Well… we’ve got some folks from Edtechtalk… Jose Rodriguez, Sharon Peters and I are the current ‘organizing cheering squad’ but we’d like everyone we know and don’t know to jump on board. Communities have power… it’s just a bit subtle sometimes.
somehow i feel like i need banjo music to finish off this post