Yesterday marked the end of the ds106 Kickstarter, and at the end of two weeks we raised $12,643 and funded the project at 301% the original request of $4200—all of which remains mind boggling to me. In terms of funding this is still very much the lemonade stand of raising resources when it comes to educational projects, a small localized community quenching its thirst. At the same time it provides a glimpse of something very, very powerful in terms of a funding model for more experimental projects in the future. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge how awesome the folks in the UMW admin have been for understanding ds106 is not the Computer Science class I teach at UMW, although that’s part of it, but a much larger, open experience that they help fund by keeping it running regularly and paying people to teach it—at the tune of six times over this past year!
On the other hand, all us in the ds106 community benefit by having the freedom to push the classes we teach at UMW, Kansas State University, SUNY Cortland, York College, Temple U Japan, and Jacksonville State University beyond traditional notions of course space, campus-specific community, and provincial notions of enrollment. We are still very much at the beginning of this experiment, but I hope this Kickstarter might begin to illustrate that “traditional” educational institutions and the open, online communities are not exclusive or diametrically opposed. Rather they can and do constantly work together in some powerful and dynamic ways that we’ve only yet begun to understand.
But more than anything, what really moved me about the whole experience was to see what is possible when a number of small acts of kindness and generosity make a big difference. This is encouraging to me, this is that “hopeful twist” to the apocalyptic rhetoric around all things education, change and the internet. What could be more buoying than the idea that people want to help each other create cool things and forge deep, personal ties through and on the web? That’s enough for me some days. Thank you for drinking the lemonade 🙂
Now, a few of us here have some cards to write, shirts to print, animated GIFs to make and assignments to name. What’s more, we haven’t ordered the t-shirts yet, so if you’re really dying for one let us know in the comments here and we will make arrangements to make sure you get what you want, I mean we’re not computers, Sebastian, we’re physical!