Thursday, May 17, 2012

Help Support The ISTE12 Newbie!

In 2009, Beth Still started the ISTE Newbie Project to serve as an example of how people who are connected to one another on Twitter can work together to do great things. There were still a lot of people who discounted the value of Twitter and she was determined to show the naysayers that it really did have a valuable place in education. For three years in a row she tapped into her personal learning network to raise money to send three different Newbies to ISTE. A Newbie is simply someone who had never attended ISTE. Last summer she made the decision to take a break from the project to spend time with family and pursue other projects, but all of that changed the other night.

Beth was not planning on doing the ISTE Newbie Project this year.  She had organized and managed this project for the last three years simply needed a break. There is a lot of work that goes into making this project work that happens behind the scenes and she did not have the time to do it this year due to family obligations. But last week all of that week when she received an email from Suzie Nestico. Suzie had been contacted by Jeff Bradbury who manages the TeacherCast website and Ron Peck who is one of the co-founders of #sschat and the SSChat Ning. They were looking for a way to get Jerry to San Diego so he could attend his very first ISTE.

The Newbie for ISTE12 is one of those rare people who has found a way to give more than he/she takes from his/her personal learning network. This individual started out creating a website for his/her school in 1999 but by the next year had developed a site for all educators with hundreds of great resources and links. The website grew and now has over 500 pages and 30,000 links. It is considered the “go-to” website for information on just about anything. Many educators sing the praises of this wealth of information and sharing on a level that no one in education can come close to. In addition, this individual is an active member of several chats on Twitter. #Edchat, #ntchat, #gtchat, #elemchat, #engchat, #sschat and #ptchat are just a few of the chats he contributes to and moderates on a regular basis. This amazingly generous person deserves everything we can do for him/her and more.

Jerry Blumengarten, also known as @cybraryman1, is the ISTE12 Newbie!

It will take a large number of us working together to raise enough money to get Jerry to ISTE. The idea behind the Newbie Project is to raise a lot of money without anyone donating much more than they would spend on a couple of cups of fancy coffee. The goal this year is $2000. We need 200 people to give $10. In previous years individual donations have ranged from $5 to $150. My advice is to give what you are comfortable with and don’t assume that your contribution is insignificant. Every dollar adds up! We only have until June 10 to accomplish this goal. Please show Jerry how much you appreciate him by chipping in to get him to San Diego! 

To make a donation please visit the ISTE Newbie Site.  

In the unlikely event that not enough money is raised to send Jerry to ISTE in San Diego then we will pick up the fundraising again next year to send him to ISTE13 in San Antonio.
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