I haven’t even had time to process how unbelievably amazing the ds106 community is based on how fast the Kickstarter was funded (less than 24 hours!), when all of a sudden Michael Feldstein is making a call for bigger donations from LMS companies (and with a little prodding by @timmmmyboy Instructure stepped up and made an unbelievably generous promise of a pledge for $5,000). My mind is still reeling, and make no mistake about it, this project was funded by and for the community, and if more money is coming in I want all of us to think about how we might use it in a way that benefits everyone. So this post will do two simple things: 1) provide a few ideas of how we might use some of the extra money, and 2) ask for more ideas of how to use the money.
First, some ideas on how to use the money:
1) Custom development for FeedWordPress which currently handles all the syndication of over 500+ blogs. I think if we integrated this plugin more cleanly with BuddyPress and make the syndication of participants blog posts it would make the whole sign-up process for an open online class that much more streamlined. What’s more, I would love if it could automatically filter for posts tagged/labelled ds106 as well as auto-discover the author’s account/profile. (maybe $1000 or $1500?)
2) Fund the ds106radio server for another year. Grant Potter has been sustaining that for too long, and we had some donations for a pledge drive for the Radio that squared us until this October, but why not seal that up for another year? ($1000?)
3) Fund the ds106 server for 2 years rather than just 1. ($2800)
4) One of my dreams as the course gets bigger is to provide some specific focus and attention to the open, online students. So, perhaps some kind of ds106 coordinator? I’m not sure how that would look, or the details, but I would love to have a community gardener kinda like UBC has with their Wiki. (I imagine this cost here would depend, but anywhere from 2,000 – 20,000 I would think, and it doesn’t have to be one person.)
As an aside, what I like about this is it takes into account that to teach something like ds106 demands a ton of time and energy, and that is what the institutions associated with ds106 are paying for now, and it’s critical. This option allows us to introduce someone from outside of those institutions to teach it—which is kinda of interesting.
6) A Makerbot Replicator: I would love to start integrating 3D printing design into ds106 in future semesters, this might be our chance! ($1749)
Second, your ideas on what to do with the extra funding
Anyway, those are just some ideas I was thinking about, none of this is in stone and I’m really not sure if much more money will come in, but with Instructure’s pledge we are up to almost $12,000 already and it only makes sense to let people know what we would be thinking about doing with any extra we get. But what is even more interesting to me is what you think we should do with anything above and beyond the initial pledge target, please let me know in the comments below.