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I am very glad that Digital Chalkie as a (West) Australian educational technologists’ hub concept is one that you can all see the benefits in establishing. I have just spent the weekend at the WA Technology & Enterprise Conference. I mentioned Digital Chalkie to a few people and there is a genuine interest. I was hoping to discuss the website with some other ECAWA members but I had to dash off to set up for my workshop. I presented on the use of Kahootz and ComicLife together. The participants were really switched on ICT teachers and they picked up the hands-on tasks really quickly.
I’d like to make clear, at this early stage, my motivation for establishing Digital Chalkie. The inspiration is both professional and out of genuine interest in the possibilities to advance education through the use of ICTs. I am also leaving my current position at Paraburdoo Primary School at the end of this school year, and hope Digital Chalkie will be a good venue to network and share my interests with a wider audience. It hope that authors on the website will gain the same benefits.
I’m currently hosting the website through a shared and cheap DreamHost server. The option is there for us to be associated with ECAWA in the future or to remain independent. I was just inspired by Mark and Steve’s suggestion that it would be beneficial to set up a forum for discussion of ground rules and a roadmap. So I have gone ahead and set-up a Digital Chalkie forum here: http://www.digitalchalkie.com/forum/. NB: the new “forum” tab above. I hope we can use this as a venue to “set out some ground rules as to what we are trying to achieve, why and how we intend to go about it”, to quote Mark. If we really want to get formal about the site we can form a committee in the winter break to develop a charter. As this is a voluntary project I’d personally prefer to set up the shell and let it grow organically with as little grandstanding as possible.
I am providing the server space on a voluntary basis and can handle 1TB of traffic a month (just in case one of us posts something really exciting that hits the RSS feeds on blogosphere). We can initiate the addition of Google Ads as soon as we have some agreement. I have applied for a Google Adsense account and I’m hoping you will all give me the blessing to initiate Google Ads on the website. I intend to declare all earnings to DC authors upon receipt of any payments and will use any funding towards future transfer of the website to a dedicated server. In time I really do think there is an chance that these ads will pay for a dedicate server for Digital Chalkie. I’d be interested to hear Bryn and Kim’s thoughts on Google Ads.
My intention is to announce it to the wider eChalk community on Foundation Day next Monday (if I can get the CSS sidebars to work in IE6 - I broke it so I should be able to fix it!). Then we can have 5 weeks of Digital Chalkie “Gamma” open to the eChalk community, up and running. Let me know if you would like to meet in the holidays to refine the project and consider whether we want it to canvas affiliations with professional associations.
Currently on my things to do list are:
- the CSS rendering correctly in IE 6
- an “About Digital Chalkie” page
- a “How-To Post” page - how to post, set-profile, add links, use the WYSIWYG editor, add pictures etc
- a draft charter
- initiate contextual Google Ads
- get some consensus on a logo (example shown above)
Before the announcement on Foundation Day if any of you would like to assist in writing these documents please contact me and/or post your ideas to the form.