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Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Kickstarter toolkit

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

Kickstarter is a “crowdfunding” website that displays opportunities for those interested in supporting independent artists in their creative pursuits (including film, visual arts, food, technology and most anything).

It is a “threshold pledge system” which means that artists post a revenue goal and time deadline to fund their project. If the goal is not achieved within the prescribed time, the funds are not collected.  Kickstarter maintains the site by taking 5% of all funds raised. Transactions are facilitated through Amazon, so they take another 2%. Everything else goes directly to the artists. Monies raised are not investments, giving artists 100% control of their work.

Projects are sorted by location and by type, so you are able to easily support projects that are community-based. Currently funded projects are available for viewing; providing a wide selection of very cool projects.

Here’s what Kickstarter says about its funding all-or-nothing approach:

“On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. This way, no one is expected to develop a project with an insufficient budget. Remember you set your own funding goal, so aim to raise the minimum amount you’ll need to create your vision. Projects can always raise more than their goal, and often do.”

This site is getting a lot of attention. It engages a web-based community of art supporters to review projects that would never be known otherwise. It raises capital for small but unique projects, potentially contributing to the intellectual and artistic sense of communities.

If you haven’t already, check it out:

The Three C's

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

In a recent article “Move Over Three R’s, Here Come the Three C’s” on the Digital Learning Environments site, Mark Brumley suggests that in addition to Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic, three new skills, Creativity, Curation, and Collaboration, will be equally important.  I’m pretty sure that the Three C’s, as he calls them, have always been a valuable skill.  But they are taking on new prominence in our post-industrial, non-routine global information society.

The creative and collaborative aspects of the three C’s are familiar to everyone, even if there are differences in how to best teach these skills.  But curation was one that gave me pause.  Curation is the act of collecting, organizing, and maintaining a collection. Today’s curators need to look through the overwhelming inundation of information presented every day on topics of interest and isolate the prizes to be included in their creative endeavors from the background noise that is presented by those trying to sell ideas through hype rather than substance.  An effective curator is much like a treasure hunter who can walk into a thrift store and spot the item marked at $1.00 but which is worth $1,000.00; and the item marked at $100 but that isn’t worth $0.02.

Interestingly, the Three C’s seem an awful lot like the very cognitive skills Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and others felt were so critical to civil society and an effective democracy, and which led them to invest their own finances and time to create the first public schools.  The ability to curate information so as to better judge the best paths towards liberty for all was a foundational principle for the founding fathers.

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people.  Enable them
to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and
they will preserve them.  And it requires no very high degree of
education to convince them of this.  They are the only sure
reliance for the preservation of our liberty." --Thomas Jefferson
to James Madison, 1787.