Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wish List? Tweet It

Richard Byrne, a social studies teacher in Maine, was able to attend the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC) in Washington, DC the summer of 2009, thanks in part to twitter and other online technology. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), which organizes the annual conference, launched the Newbie Project. It’s co-founder, Beth Still, used the power of Twitter to find enough people willing to donate $1 or more to send Byrne to NECC. Two weeks after Still announced the effort on her blog and began tweeting, several dozen people donated $750, enough to cover conference registration and airfare. Still continued her effort and eventually a technology company donated $700 to cover food and lodging for the newbie.

Byrne said in an interview, “Hopefully Beth’s project convinced people that the professional connections you make online can be just as meaningful as professional connections developed in person.” The Newbie Project is again fundraising via technology to send more first-timers to its 2010 conference in Denver, CO. (Photo: NECC 2009 Exhibitor's Hall, by Oksana Hlodan.)

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