Wednesday, April 15, 2009

U.S. Educational Stimulus Aid and - Feedback?

I could use some feedback for a simple website I've built around the idea of helping promote good long-term decision-making with the educational stimulus funds. The idea is fairly simple, but has a "subtext" as well: to also help show administrators the value of Web 2.0 and social media by giving them some direct experience with benefits in a very practical area. has the following components:

1. A Twitter feed for announcements (especially of events).
2. A public calendar of any events I see, both free and paid, around the educational stimulus package (taken from a Google calendar and updated automatically).
3. A way for anyone to apply to hold their own Elluminate sessions (for free) on this topic. I can do this because of my work for Elluminate, and their interest in having the Elluminate platform make a difference (and be visible) in this larger discussion. Will people find a use for this? Are there folks who will be interested in hold a free webinars/discussions on using the stimulus funds wisely?
4. A prototype discussion forum. I really need help understanding this--which is: what kind of discussions are decision-makers going to want to have, and will they want the confidentiality of a private network in order to feel free to talk about this topic?
5. A links page to other resources (that draws, if anyone is interested, from my Diigo social bookmarking account).
6. A news page with a feed from Google News based on the phrase "educational stimulus."
7. An archive page for links to recordings of past events.

I'm a little fascinated by the ability that our current social media landscape gives me to relatively easily create and update a resource site like this around a specific topic. But I don't think the site will make much of a difference if I don't get some help in refining the idea and growing it beyond my initial brainstorm.

Here's where I think I could use some help:

1. Are there features that could be included in the site that I haven't thought of? (For instance, since a portion of the funds will be given out based on grant applications, would it help to have a blog specifically on that topic as a part of the site?)
2. If the site is truly useful, and if so, how do we get the word out to administrators and decision-makers?
3. Is there anyone dying to help with this? I'm figuring it would help to have some others who can track events, bookmark resources, give information webinars, and facilitate panel discussions or group meetings.

Thanks for your attention. Please feel free to respond here, to email me directly at, or to add your thoughts at a discussion post on Future of Education.
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