UPDATE Tuesday February 12: Due to overwhelming response, I am going to remove the “Donate” button for the Edtechpost Activism Fund. In just 4 days I was blessed with $360 in donations from 25 generous supporters, which is now more than enough to get me to the BC Open Data Summit. Thanks SO much to all who contributed. I will follow up after the conference with a post on the day’s events as well as an accounting of how the funds were used and where any excess was donated.
I have been writing Edtechpost since late 2001. While my pace of posting has slowed (and was never that prolific,) I’m closing in on a thousand posts (929 and counting) and I’d like to think I’ve given my share to the ed tech community at large. And in all that time I’ve never asked for or taken any compensation directly for this blog. Never run ads. Always paid the hosting costs ($100/year) myself. Not that I haven’t gotten that back multi-fold already; simply being considered “part” of this large community and being able to communicate with so many I love and respect is honestly all the return I’ve ever hoped for.
But times have changed slightly. I feel really optimistic about all of the conversations I am having and new possibilities I am exploring, and am definitely trying to hold out from just taking “a job” in the hopes of co-creating a new opportunity I can excel and thrive in, but for now I’m doing most of this work off the cuff, on spec, in the hopes something good will grow.
Some of these projects are bringing me closer into contact with Open Data efforts in BC. I’ve never focused specifically on “open data” in the past, though I’ve always stayed abreast of it and seen its as an allied movement. But as I turn my focus on how to enable local open learning communities, open data is becoming more relevant both as a site of learning and (through the process of creation and use) a site of community formation.
A few folks have urged me to attend the upcoming BC Open Data Summit on February 19th in Vancouver. I really want to attend, but I have said no so far because I am trying to live frugally and the reg fee is $125 plus the getting there from the island and all, so more like a $250 outting. Not totally budget blowing, but one I had decided to forgo unless I can defray the cost somehow.
So, with the LONG preamble done, I’ve set up a Paypal donation button (see below or on the sidebar) for anyone who feels so inclined to donate to the newly formed “Edtechpost Activism Fund.” I hereby solemnly swear that all funds received through this mechanism will first go towards attending the BC Open Data Summit, and that I will write up that experience and do my best to represent the (seemingly absent) citizen perspective. If any remain after that, I propose to put them towards the monthly donations I make to openmedia.ca and the Wikipedia foundation. I propose to be completely transparent about the amount raised and will take this down at the end of February.
So if you can spare some change so I can further my efforts to create change, I am grateful. If not, that’s totally cool too – we’re all stretched to support so many different causes and people. Votes of solidarity and encouragement are always appreciated too, and indeed on the days where change seems an impossible task, can be even more valuable. – SWL