So Here is My Big Idea

Everyone Loves Research:
Ms. Nadine Cohen from the UGA’s library came to class on September 23 to aid us in finding scholarly research for our 20% project using Galileo. She was great and full of useful knowledge for future reference. As is so often the case with educational research she suggested I start in ERIC an online catalog resource I often use for professional journal articles. But I felt ERIC did not fit my need for this project, what I was looking for wasn’t really research but a place to find practical tried and true ideas to share. When I slowed down and explained myself more clearly she quickly agreed but the focus became about my new essential question again, “does that resource even exist and if so where”. She and I hammered that question around. I told her how I had been searching out resources and she agreed this was a little more than a typical research situation so we brought my instructor Gretchen Thomas into the conversation.
It was my teacher who became my guide next, she pointed out just as I had noted searching, that there are a million locations to find all sorts of Assistive Technology from Pinterest to University sites. The question of cataloging them in one location came up again and what that would look like if I tried it myself. She talked about why these ideas are so scattered and hard to catalog. You see students just like me along with institutions and even people work in fields requiring these resources all start out trying to put them together in one place. They collect them for a while then just stop keeping up with them.
An Idea Tried Before:
There are thousands of sites all over the internet that deal with assistive technology. People just like me who think it would be a great idea to collect this information and catalog it but for whom the task of sharing becomes overwhelming and there for eventually neglect it. It strikes me that a job this big requires everyone to give input and a common place those like minds to gather. I keep coming back to social media and wondering how you create an undercurrent of interest that travels far and wide. How do you reach across multiple fields and bring people together to actively catalog in one location so the task of collecting all these resource isn’t so big. A Facebook for educators, physical therapist, audiologist, care providers, family, and the list goes on and on to come together and share. Pinterest has taken on some aspect of this but it does not organize or catalog according to need or task and often lacks enough information to utilize so though a good starting place it is incomplete. The concept behind Facebook where people voluntary share information and it is cross-referenced and linked to outside resources is another example that has elements of what I am talking about. It depends on input provided from the outside individually added it by choose but providing a way of organizing and networking people so they connect across varied points of interest.
So This Officially My Project Concept:
I am not building a Facebook or cataloged Pinterest but what can I do to encourage people to link together and share. Most importantly, what platform do I use to provide that chance to make it happen? Maybe I do not personally provide it, maybe I put together the research efforts, provide the information to make a case for its existence and hopefully motivate a bigger entity to take on the project after I am done. In my grand fantasy of earning the ultimate “A”, I convince someone truly capable of running with my idea, maintaining this catalog aka social media platform. Convincing someone that there is purpose and benefit to be had from taking on my little project after I am done.
So why not go big or go home, I have my task list:
1. Find a platform to work off, my teacher suggests two that I have been playing with already.
2. Define my catalog system: groups and subgroups.
3. Start my collection of resource anywhere I can find them. Leave a request behind with each collection reaching out and make a plea to that outside resources to motivate them to come together of their own accord in this effort to network.
4. Finally start the process of seeking two entities to take this project on after I am done and carry it forward. * I feel it has to be two polar different institutions to make it really work. One must be academic so that sees the purpose as being motivated by the cause and the second the corporate technological such as Pinterest, Facebook, of some profit based share site that benefits from the challenge and philanthropy that comes from being part of a project like this. The academic maintains the legitimacy of the resources provided and the corporate provides the experience of social based data sharing.
Tonight I am playing with web site builders. I am compiling a list of possible corporate and academic partners and writing an open-ended letter intended to be forwarded in the hopes of seeing what happens if you try to spark an idea. I plan to send out a link on twitter at the beginning of next week and I have a list of web locations to find assistive technology already going. This should be fun, I know this is a different direction than most of the other projects in my class but I think it embodies the 20% project concept so I am all in. Check it out:
http://www.geniushour.com/

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