Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Online Mentoring program

(you can contact me at GabrielMtn @ gmail .com)

Update:  Well, I have been refining this for a long time, but it feels so new still, its been a  really natural experience, like breathing.  Lately I have been studying other similar businesses, talking to software designers, and I have made a few decisions about my startup:

 

1. We are surrounded with new tools that are powerful, mobile, cheap, easy to learn, easy to use, and soon will be ubiquitous. (Jeff Howe)

Cloud+Classroom will bring these tools to students, assisting them in their primary education, as well as adults, because we never stop learning.


2. With these tools it is increasingly easy to learn, to contruct and express one's knowledge and insights, to exchange, to cooperate and collaborate, and to act collectively (Clay Shirky).
By using these tools together, we will learn what is missing, and what we need. Cloud+Classroom will be an open ear and advocate for its network. Also the power of collaboration needn't be explained to this crowd ^_^

3. Late teen and early adult years are cognitively peak years (Bob Epstein) and the young people are the primary users of the new tools (Kaiser Family Foundation and others). Cloud+Classroom will be the link between info and student, allowing them to learn and delve deep into their interests


4. All of the world's useful knowledge is already on-line or soon will be, and is readily acquired and mashed up for re-use by the new digital tools. This knowledge, circulating in open access formats, is better than the official knowledge because it is subject to rapid correction and augmentation (Judy Breck and others).
Cloud+Classroom is based around this concept, and combines it with the training of liscenced teachers and the energy of student leaders.

 

5. As a result teens and adults do not need schools and teachers, and in fact are infantilized and humiliated by their constraints (Epstein).

By intellectually freeing students with the empowerment of the Cloud+Classroom network and tools, they can more easily grasp their primary education, while also carrying on a purpose driven pursuit of their interests.

 

6. As a result the overwhelming percent of them hate their schools (Collins and Halverson).

By using Cloud+Classroom to distinguish the difference between school, and education and learning, students can begin to love education, and also begin to see the point, and hopefully be more engaged in their schooling.

 

7. At the same time all sorts of outside the system innovation is being generated by educational entrepreneurs, such as Live Mocha.(Curt Bonk).

Cloud+Classroom will operate in a thriving educational market

 

8. Meanwhile college diplomas are increasingly worthless as links to advantageous jobs,

unless they come from elite colleges -- it is the elite college link, not the diploma, that pays. And elite colleges are pricing the middle class out (as Kramanatz said this evening -- though this is hardly fresh news).

Employers are starting to realize that the human resource produced by the school system is not the tool for the job. By supplimenting and supporting a students education, Cloud+Classroom will have many positive affects, such as: creating a network of employers and employees around the globe, giving students a community to support their endeavors, offering tangible training for in demand skills like conversational Chinese, or English.

 

9. Larry Cuban is probably right that the schools have great internal capacity to adjust without changing in very fundamental ways -- they'll continue to be age-graded egg-crated curricularized test-oriented factories as long as they can. I might agree with Cuban not to expect much change from within.

Can we afford to let another generation pass by without the ability or desire to solve the world's problems? How long will we be around if we dont create an atmosphere of collaboration, and use it to work together for the greater good. Stephen Hawkings says that we dont see any aliens flying around, or hear and radio from outer space, because civilizations usually kill themselves off. Do we want to be other casualty of ignorance?

*questions by Leonard Waks*

 

  • Its going to be a non-profit, whose goal is to provide learning2.0 tools to anyone who wants to use them, as well as an network platform for collaborating,
  • There will be two main sides to our company. A Web2.0 tool section, which will be a customizable search engine and a classroom/community section
  • The educational tools will be a revenue source, and will be the core of our business.A first goal is to the offer tools to anyone, allowing them to teach themselves whatever they need.  The second goal, is to create a revenue flow from the use of the tools by using subtle advertising on the results pages. The only need is to create a sustainable pattern of bandwidth cost per search vs. revenue per search
  • The community side is directed at students and teachers, providing a network for them to use to study in groups, help with schoolwork by creating teams,
  • A foundation of our business will be supplimenting education for all ages
  • Another foundation will be flexibility, because not everyone will need the same tools.
  • A third foundation is simplicity: KISS (keep it simple stupid)
  • My  mentoring platform is likely going to be Acrobat connect pro
  • My classroom platform will likely be an open source chat app
  • My communtiy platform will likely be on Joomla, because it is open source.
  • As a seperate revenue option, we will use Adobe connect to create a mentoring system.  Teachers will likely find that they can easily and quickly make extra money tutoring and teaching online.

 

here are some quotes that may illuminate the market that I am in.

 

 

1. We are surrounded with new tools that are powerful, mobile, cheap, easy to learn, easy to use, and soon will be ubiquitous. (Jeff Howe)
2. With these tools it is increasingly easy to learn, to contruct and express one's knowledge and insights, to exchange, to cooperate and collaborate, and to act collectively (Clay Shirky).
3. Late teen and early adult years are cognitively peak years (Bob Epstein) and the young people are the primary users of the new tools (Kaiser Family Foundation and others).
4. All of the world's useful knowledge is already on-line or soon will be, and is readily acquired and mashed up for re-use by the new digital tools. This knowledge, circulating in open access formats, is better than the official knowledge because it is subject to rapid correction and augmentation (Judy Breck and others).
5. As a result teens and adults do not need schools and teachers, and in fact are infantilized and humiliated by their constraints (Epstein).
6. As a result the overwhelming percent of them hate their schools (Collins and Halverson).
7. At the same time all sorts of outside the system innovation is being generated by educational entrepreneurs, such as Live Mocha.(Curt Bonk).
8. Meanwhile college diplomas are increasingly worthless as links to advantageous jobs, unless they come from elite colleges  -- it is the elite college link, not the diploma, that pays. And elite colleges are pricing the middle class out (as Kramanatz said this evening -- though this is hardly fresh news).
9. Larry Cuban is probably right that the schools have great internal capacity to adjust without changing in very fundamental ways -- they'll continue to be age-graded egg-crated curricularized test-oriented factories as long as they can. I might agree with Cuban not to expect much change from within

 

 

 

 

 


To start, here is an email written to www.johntaylorgatto.com

To whom it may concern,

My question and request is as follows: Is Mr. Gatto available to speak by phone, or if possible, in person?  I am developing a team based mentoring and educational program using web2.0  features, and would appreciate with contacting Mr. Gatto to receive input.  My program is one of supplementing secondary education with online materials and utilizing online homerooms while supporting and guiding students, in a team setting, to materials that they want to learn, and community activities in the real world that they want to do.  Mr. Gatto's talks show him to be an expert on education, far past what I could hope to learn from reading his books, or at least in time to inact this plan, which I hope can help students as soon as this summer.  I am presenting this business plan for seed money on the 18th, which is why I am contacting Mr. Gatto.  From his talks, I can tell that adding his voice to the creating of our mission statement will direct our efforts in an insightful and intelligent way.  To be honest, I am a defect product of an educational system that failed to fit me in a box, and package me for use (I attended seven high school programs before getting into the 99th percentile of the GED, and I am a 24 year old college soph***re, who is realizing my education never fit me and doesn't fit me now)  Therefore, to be blunt, without his expert input I am fairly sure that I lack the knowledge to accurately direct this project at the largest problems of education, which is a large part of my goal, as a defect.  If nothing else, a chance at an elevator pitch, would be greatly appreciated, to see if he approves of the current concept.  So far, this is an one man project, which is to say I am working for my self and therefore have little to offer, but if possible, I will travel from North Carolina to New York for a meeting, and if necessary will pay a mutually agreeable amount.
With sincerity and urgency,
Gabriel Martin

 


 

In that letter I describe, very briefly, the vision that I have.  I shared that with Mr. gatto, because he is the best man to help me create a mission statement.  Right now though, I need help from you all!

In order to flesh out this idea, and get quality design, I need your help!  I have such a broad idea, that it has been hard to set it in stone. 

 

here is an update:

 

Hi Gabriel,

                Best to write John directly with your request.  He doesn’t have e-mail or a computer, and rarely answers his phone...His home address is (adress was here).

                thanks,

                Roland

 

( I have a friend in new york, he has agreed to deliver the message by hand, and even let Gatto use his phone, if possible.  I will leave immediately If I can meet with him.  I hope

to get the chance at a face to face meeting.

 


here are some things that I am working on (writing them out should help)

 

Mission Statement

:  As you can see above, I am taking the first steps of this plan very seriously.  If you do not know Gattos work, he is has spent more time learning about education than I may ever spend on learning anything. With his help, I am sure that we will be able to avoid misconceptions and pitfalls in the coming days and weeks of planning what this program should be.

 

Web2.0 tools

 In this network, I hope to leverage some of the best and most usefull tools for students and teachers to use.  These include a social networking platform, which so far my vision is to have a platform which eventually (after the student goes through orientation and is introduced to the system) organizes students into teams with flexible sizes, Im guessing around 20 people, but basically of a size that team leaders can manage.  These teams would be part of larger groups, and large events could be easily organized by connecting teams and  larger groups.

Some web20 tools for learning: here are some from a link that a friend sent, all these are possibles, but the goal would be to be able to leverage different widgets and tools, depending on what the team was interested in:

http://campustechnology.com/Articles/2010/05/01/18-Web-20-Tools-for...

 www.moode.org

Hosting and business plan

Studying cloud computing has taken me from being ignorant of it, to not getting it, to understanding the value of it.  Seeing the scalability and flexibility of cloud really was a big inspiration for me.  Here are some cloud resources I used.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJncFirhjPg&feature=related

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_S3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_Elastic_Compute_Cloud

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Cloud_computing_vendors

 

As for the business plan, at first I will be using a site from www.ning.com as it is free. and easy to set up.  But eventually tranferring over to a permenant platform will be necessary.  To pay for these costs, I have listed some ideas (all different stages mixed together)

Kickstarter (edit: applied)

Newprofit.org

Bill & Melinda Gates foundation

ads in games

paid mentoring

in game giftin

donations

sell my car

Ycombinator (edit: applied)

 

here are some tihngs I have already done:

Put my Guitar on consignment for $995

Create a free ning for the first team to use.

Create this post.

 

Team leaders

My goal at first is to connect school teachers (as team leaders, and guides) to students. but the concept of team leaders is much more broad than that.  Students could be promoted to team leaders, and some could start clubs at their schools.  The flexibility of the network is key, to allowing promotion of students with the desire to lead.  Here is a main concept of the program.  Over time, team leaders and top students would be encouraged to engage with students abroad, mentoring each other, and creating powerfull netwroking skills, which can in turn create community leaders around the world.  With students abroad, creating connections outside of the team, will become common, and the students can work towards whatever goals they wish, or just learn and make friends, the teams are self paced.   I believe that these friendships could be a way to give all students a lesson in diversity, 

 

 

Please, ask, discuss, critque! 

Shoot h***s in it!

The best possibility is for you to uncover a flaw, so that we can fix it.

 

Updates:

Took part in an online interview with John Taylor Gatto May 6

Signed up for Edufire May 6

watching http://vimeo.com/11183976 , will post notes from interview and video May 6

Actually "met" wintermute Syncronously... Really nice!

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Replies to This Discussion

Well! There we go! its a start
interesting
do you have already reactions?
I always appreciate your work, ideas and help. But, this one is extra work for a worldwide. courage!
Hi, check out www.moodle.com it's a free online courseware system you may find useful, my nonprofit uses it and so do hundreds of universities and schools :)
Opps, try also www.moodle.org although a site comes up for their .com I think .org one is better link
thanks! Buffy, Martin, and Iyamuremye
A good start indeed, this is a wonderful idea I think you should pursue. Official mentorship is gaining popularity because it works! Some suggestions off top of my head since I'm also considering an Evokation but of a different nature. Treasure or Trash suggestions, your choice :)

1. Read the requirements for an Evokation - what information do they want you to provide and how?
2. Look at the examples they've provided, what will make yours stand out?
3. Keep a brainstorm log (which this seems to be) but layout your draft proposal you're going to submit so you can start organizing headings.
4. Think about the resources (people or experts) you'll need to accomplish this, not names just roles.
5. Think about how you're going to spend your $1,000 to get started. For instance I'm considering using this for a feasibility study, hire an expert to confirm my evokation is viable. They want to know what you're going to do with their money.
6. Include how you think your idea can be sustained (raise additional funding, enlist volunteers etc) and make sure you include this in your proposal.
7. Do your best to make your proposal with a professional 'look and feel' to let the judges know you are serious, organized and inspired, i.e. no spelling mistakes.
8. If you are considering a video proposal, prepare a script, practice it and keep it short and to the point with visuals so they get the picture of your vision.
9. Don't worry if you don't have all the answers right now, it is the vision "how will this impact locally and globally" What do you imagine your Evokation will look like in 5 years from now? (I see you've included this by using the example of foreign students, make a comment then that your school has a lot of foreign students attending)
10. Do not be discouraged if your Evokation is not selected, you are up against people who have been thinking of their idea for years, and there are so many worthwhile projects including yours and mine that may not be selected, I imagine a lot of these will not ever happen. Keep your passion for your vision alive no matter what obstacle you run across!
11. and my favourite saying to wish you good luck ~ dream ponder Create :)
Your a doll! What a friend!
Good start Gabriel!

My thoughts on improvement - when contacting folks you need to DO the elevator pitch, there in the email, so the PA can pass it on to him immediately. Anything else in the initial contact is less important than selling the idea in ten seconds. Assume you're going to get no more than 10 seconds reading time from a busy person - what is going to happen? Can you convince him he wants to get involved in 2 sentences? What's in it for him?
Okay, so if i'm reading this correctly, you want to start a web site program that has a teacher/mentor at the head of a small group of people. If i'm not reading that correctly then you need to add more detail. Who, what, where, when, how and why.

You're going to need resources for the people teaching or mentoring because believe it or not, thats a skill set that has to be learned and most people don't have it. You're going to need a certification program both for the students coming out of your programs and a certification for the people doing the mentoring.
And your certification has to be backed by something that actually has meaning and value. Which means it has to have substance and be rigorous.

Don't count on the stars for guidance. I hate to be a stick in the mud about this but at the end of the day, you are the leader of this project and you might have to spend the years learning a subject well enough to actually make a difference in it. The real question is, does it mean enough to you?
One quote I came across recently went something along the lines of, "Brick walls are there for you to prove how much you really want something."
You're going to hit a brick wall in guidance so you better start learning about self teaching and you better start thinking about ways to climb that wall. It could take you years to find the path around it. Theres been some brick walls in my life that I still haven't found solutions for. Find local teachers to help you. They may not have exactly the skill set you'd wish for but they probably have just enough to get you well started.

http://www.godaddy.com/hosting/virtual-dedicated-server.aspx?ci=9013 They have reasonable virtual server hosting for 30 a month.

Argh, I cant seem to find the link for it now..but I know theres another website that plans to open up later this year which will act as a meeting ground for people who want to do things and people who have things which need doing. If I come across it again i'll send it in your direction.

More detail please. Its a start of a good idea but the devil is and always will be in the details. If you can't figure out exactly what you need to do next then you'll stall for being overwhelmed and direction less. And thats personal experience talking.
Wow this is excellent work!

I think the wh*** starting clubs thing at schools is a tad unrealistic. People who use online sites generally don't come from the same geological area, let alone the same school

I think keeping the community strictly online would increase it's success.

One idea is when the project is up and running, send some information to some local schools, and get them to try and make students join

one major problem wiuld be the monitoring of these forums, online abuse is a big problem

but a great concept!
The section are starting clubs, is something that individuals could do at their schools, with their classmates. Seems feasible to me^_^ I guess my wording made it sound like there would be a group of users in each school, I just meant that a motivated user could be empowered to create their own club. Does that seem more feasible?

Janak Patel said:
Wow this is excellent work!

I think the wh*** starting clubs thing at schools is a tad unrealistic. People who use online sites generally don't come from the same geological area, let alone the same school

I think keeping the community strictly online would increase it's success.

One idea is when the project is up and running, send some information to some local schools, and get them to try and make students join

one major problem wiuld be the monitoring of these forums, online abuse is a big problem

but a great concept!

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