Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a worrisome trend in the education community– the rise of the edtech cheerleader. I’m not talking about the teacherbloggers who are the first to integrate the trendiest of tech tools into their lesson plans (that’s another post.) I’m not talking about the teachers who champion technology in ways that extend archaic, ineffective practices in the classroom. I’m not even talking about the teachers pre-writing blog posts about how their tech-infused lessons before the lesson ever takes place (that’s another post). And in case you’re wondering, I’m not even talking about a few recent Techcrunch-y additions to the edtech blogging market. (That one’s a shocker, I know!)
Of all of the crowdfunding sites, Kickstarter is the leader of the pack– it’s the biggest, most visible, most successful platform out there, and it because of it, a plethora of incredible projects have come to life. In 2012 alone, over two million people successfully funded 18,109 projects. For many, Kickstarter is to crowdfunding what Kleenex is to “tissue,” though there are many other platforms that have popped up to support the crowdfunding model.
Over the past few months, I’ve contributed time, money, and insight to two specific Kickstarter projects, both of which were funded with only hours to spare. The first, an interactive comic book app, the brainchild of John Boyer and Katie Pritchard, was built for the Plaid Avenger’s unforgettable World Regions class (and the community built around it) at Virginia Tech. The second project of which I was part was Outthink Inc’s “Tornado Maker,” an educational app that, upon completion, would be the only app in the entire Apple App Store designed for preteens.