Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tonight's Pitchfire - Bring Your Best Ideas for Education

Not one to shy away from experimenting with an online event (especially during Learning 2.0), I want to invite you to tonight's virtual "Pitchfire" from 7 - 9pm US-Eastern Time (international time conversions). We'll be hosted by Startup Weekend EDU's Khalid Smith, and we're modeling what we do after the hugely-successful physical event we did on Saturday night at ISTE as part of ISTEunplugged.

Here's the core idea: log in to http://www.pitchfire.me (a Blackboard Collaborate virtual room), where we will  open the microphone and webcam for educators (and others)--prepared in advance or not!--will get a short amount of time to make a passionate appeal for a product or service that they would like to propose, or would like to see offered, to educators. This is rough-draft stuff, just something you really think you could do or needs to be done to help support or improve teaching and learning. After a few brave folks start us off, we think you'll feel emboldened to contribute.

Then we'll do some group voting on the ideas, letting you brainstorm, collaborate, and maybe even combine forces with other. We'll recognize the most popular ideas, and hope that some of you walk away feeling excited or empowered to help make some change happen. Who knows--maybe a really fantastic idea will appear tonight and some of you will even want to work on it together; or maybe you just want to bask in the adulation of an adoring crowd as you wow us with your brilliant idea!

Some quick ground rules:

  • Be supportive. Ideas in their rough stage can be fragile. That doesn't mean that there isn't room for constructive advice or criticism, but let's not hurt anyone's feelings. :)
  • Don't pitch an idea if you're worried about "protecting" it or your financial interests. This is a space for sharing and idea-building. If you've got plans for the "next big thing" that you don't want anyone to steal, this is not the place to bring that idea or attitude. 
  • At the same time, if you like and idea and want to move forward on it, reach out to those who helped the idea along and collaborate with them. There's nothing quite so tacky as taking someone else's idea and not collaborating. Really.
  • Remember: this is an experiment. We've never done this before! 
See you online!


Blackboard Collaborate instructions:  To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page: http://support.blackboardcollaborate.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=8336&task=knowledge&questionID=1473. You do not have to have a microphone or webcam to participate, but it will make it more fun if you do!


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