reflectiveteacher2014

reflectively assessing my professional goals


Obstruction FOI practice may be very prudent

http://dianeravitch.net/2013/03/13/what-you-need-to-know-about-your-childs-privacy-rights/
I’ve been studying the topic of digital citizenship and student privacy rights rather intently of late because I’ve been trying to develop a course of action and teacher’s guide for student blogging. It’s all part of my grow plans but it stems from a continuum do Ed Tech initiatives in SD23, my role as a teacher-librarian and supporter of student technology initiatives. Just as Audrey Watters outlined so nicely, Diane Ravitch recently blogged about the growing concern of student privacy in the USA.

PRIVACYPrivacy and protection is critical and BCs FOIPPA laws provide clear and maybe oppressive boundaries yet we know there is a large digital elephant in the education room. It appears as if the rapid corporatization and Chartering in the US, which has given rise to massive information sharing by Pearson, Google et al, may have started an ugly precedent that will not be easy to roll back. In that front, we in BC should be happy about the conservative pace we’ve connected our children at school. Keeping strings attached to our FOI may be very prudent even if it appears obstructionist at times.

We need to be very vigilant about who and what genie we let out of the bottle…. protecting student content of all kinds, not just demographics or achievement, is a prudent but also very professional essential aspect of instructional design. – Al Smith , Kelowna

“What lies ahead for student privacy when private companies, government agencies, and a wide range of researchers have greater access to student data and information? I mentioned earlier the “business of education.” …. Business is booming and groups like CCSSO are benefiting. Technology startups aimed at K-12 schools attracted more than $425 million in venture capital last year.” ( DianeRavitch.net)

In 2008 and 2011, amendments to FERPA gave third parties, including private companies, increased access to student data. It is significant that in 2008, the amendments to FERPA expanded the definitions of “school officials” who have access to student data to include “contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other parties to whom an educational agency or institution has outsourced institutional services or functions it would otherwise use employees to perform.” This change has the effect of increasing the market for student data.

For example, the amendments give companies like Google and Parchment access to education records and other private student information. Students are paying the cost to use Google’s “free” servers by providing access to their sensitive data and communications.

The 2011 amendments allow the release of student records for non-academic purposes and undermine parental consent provisions. The changes also promote the public use of student IDs that enable access to private educational records.

These amendments are critical to supporting initiatives like Common Core that depend on collection of student data to monitor implementation and measure success. Schools across the country will contract with third-party vendors to provide products, programs, and services in order to meet the Common Core requirements — and government agencies and researchers will be mining student information for studies and databases. The FERPA amendments are paving the way toward greater accessibility to student data while providing no meaningful sanctions or protections against breaches of student privacy. As amended, FERPA will loosen privacy protections while helping to promote the business of education. ( DianeRavitch.net)


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Learner rights in the the digital era

20130217-210255.jpgSince this ETMOOC is my first experience in an open education course of any kind I’ve been wide eyed but fascinated. It’s a volunteer ProD journey that has had me more invested than anything since working with the BCTLA Executive developing programs for school libraries. ETMOOC has been an intellectual adventure and reading exercise unmatched since Graduate Studies in Ed Tech at SFU in 90s. Even at my age, Alec and friends have me motivated to learn as much as Dr. Milt McLaren did in the Year 2000 hay days. Even then we were investigating new ideas of pedagogy spawned by the invention of the web and the GUI browser! Ya! I’m that old. Bandwidth was an upgrade to a 6400 baud modem! Ha ha.

But the irony is that the hurdles we face today are the exact same as those of early Internet and computers in education. We still get confounded and distracted by the devices and the products. For years educators fought over operating systems and now we fight over tablets or one2one but the dilemma remains. How do teachers best utilize technology to advance learning? What learning should take place? I see little difference between some of the online DL courses teens take with the old ‘drill and kill’ apps kids used on Apple IIe. That discourages me. In some cases, I was doing more connected learning with Gr 7 kids in 1990 with a modem and a single computer than I do with Gr 12s in 2013 using laptops, iPads, phones and fiber optics- why?

It is pedagogy, practice, policy, people and politics that intervenes. In isolated cases we do amazing things with our students and in other ways we do those very traditional things copied for decades. Some old exercises, like socratic circles or storytelling, are valuable and should be cherished. Other things should be abandoned. I find the challenge of teaching lies in my re-assessing practice from the view of students rights. Am I serving them well? its a profession of service. if not, then what is the point? I read a piece on the learner rights in the digital age. Find the document below… Perhaps the MOOC is one of the methodologies that will evolve prevail? As the authors declare, they want their work to be ‘hacked’ , remixed and reworked… Maybe it is this spirit that drives learning in the end anyway.

“Called “A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age,” the document proposes a set of “inalienable rights” that the authors say students and their advocates should demand from institutions and companies that offer online courses and technology tools. Those rights should include access and privacy, along with access to information about the financial models of institutions and companies offering online courses, write the authors.( HybridPed)

>>>>>from https://github.com/audreywatters/learnersrights/blob/master/bill_of_rights.md

A Bill of Rights and Principles for Learning in the Digital Age
Preamble
Work on this Bill of Rights & Principles began in Palo Alto, California, on December 14, 2012. We convened a group of people passionate about learning, about serving today’s students, and about using every tool we could imagine to respond better to the needs of students in a global, interactive, digitally connected world.

The Internet has made it possible for anyone on the planet to be a student, a teacher, and a creative collaborator at virtually no cost. Novel technologies that can catalyze learning are bubbling up in less time than it takes to read this sentence. Some have emerged from universities, some from the private sector, some from individuals and digital communities. In the past year, Massive Online Open Courseware, or MOOCs, have become the darling of the moment–lauded by the media, embraced by millions–so new, so promising in possibility, and yet so ripe for exploitation.

We believe that online learning represents a powerful and potentially awe-inspiring opportunity to make new forms of learning available to all students worldwide, whether young or old, learning for credit, self-improvement, employment, or just pleasure. We believe that online courses can create “meaningful” as well as “massive” learning opportunities.

We are aware of how much we don’t know: that we have yet to explore the full pedagogical potential of learning online, of how it can change the ways we teach, the ways we learn, and the ways we connect.

And we worry that this moment is fragile, that history frequently and painfully repeats itself. Think of television in the 1950s or even correspondence courses in the 1920s. As we begin to experiment with how novel technologies might change learning and teaching, powerful forces threaten to neuter or constrain technology, propping up outdated educational practices rather than unfolding transformative ones.

All too often, during such wrenching transitions, the voice of the learner gets muffled.

For that reason, we feel compelled to articulate the opportunities for students in this brave electronic world, to assert their needs and–we dare say–rights.

We also recognize some broader hopes and aspirations for the best online learning. We include those principles as an integral addendum to the Bill of Rights below.

Our broad goal is to inspire an open, learner-centered dialogue around the rights, responsibilities, and possibilities for education in the globally-connected world of the present and beyond.

I. Bill of Rights
We believe that our culture is increasingly one in which learning, unlearning and relearning are as fundamental to our survival and prosperity as breathing. To that end, we believe that all students have inalienable rights which transfer to new and emerging digital environments. They include:

The right to access
Everyone should have the right to learn: traditional students, non-traditional students, adults, children, and teachers, independent of age, gender, race, social status, sexual orientation, economic status, national origin, bodily ability, and environment anywhere and everywhere in the world. To ensure the right to access, learning should be affordable and available, offered in myriad formats, to students located in a specific place and students working remotely, adapting itself to people’s different lifestyles, mobility needs, and schedules. Online learning has the potential to ensure that this right is a reality for a greater percentage of the world’s population than has ever been realizable before.

The right to privacy
Student privacy is an inalienable right regardless of whether learning takes place in a brick-and-mortar institution or online. Students have a right to know how data collected about their participation in the online system will be used by the organization and made available to others. The provider should offer clear explanations of the privacy implications of students’ choices.

The right to create public knowledge
Learners within a global, digital commons have the right to work, network, and contribute to knowledge in public; to share their ideas and their learning in visible and connected ways if they so choose. Courses should encourage open participation and meaningful engagement with real audiences where possible, including peers and the broader public.

The right to own one’s personal data and intellectual property
Students also have the right to create and own intellectual property and data associated with their participation in online courses. Online programs should encourage openness and sharing, while working to educate students about the various ways they can protect and license their data and creative work. Any changes in terms of service should be clearly communicated by the provider, and they should never erode the original terms of privacy or the intellectual property rights to which the student agreed.

The right to financial transparency
Students have a right to know how their participation supports the financial health of the online system in which they are participating. They have a right to fairness, honesty, and transparent financial accounting. This is also true of courses that are “free.” The provider should offer clear explanations of the financial implications of students’ choices.

The right to pedagogical transparency
Students have the right to understand the intended outcomes–educational, vocational, even philosophical–of an online program or initiative. If a credential or badge or certification is promised by the provider, its authenticity, meaning, and intended or historical recognition by others (such as employers or academic institutions) should be clearly established and explained.

The right to quality and care
Students have the right to care, diligence, commitment, honesty and innovation. They are not being sold a product–nor are they the product being sold. They are not just consumers. Education is also about trust. Learning–not corporate profit–is the principal purpose of all education.

The right to have great teachers
All students need thoughtful teachers, facilitators, mentors and partners in learning, and learning environments that are attentive to their specific learning goals and needs. While some of us favor peer learning communities, all of us recognize that, in formal educational settings, students should expect–indeed demand–that the people arranging, mentoring and facilitating their learning online be financially, intellectually and pedagogically valued and supported by institutions of higher learning and by society. Teachers’ know-how and working conditions are students’ learning conditions.

The right to be teachers
In an online environment, teachers no longer need to be sole authority figures but instead should share responsibility with learners at almost every turn. Students can participate and shape one another’s learning through peer interaction, new content, enhancement of learning materials and by forming virtual and real-world networks. Students have the right to engaged participation in the construction of their own learning. Students are makers, doers, thinkers, contributors, not just passive recipients of someone else’s lecture notes or methods. They are critical contributors to their disciplines, fields, and to the larger enterprise of education.

II. Principles
The following are principles to which the best online learning should aspire. We believe the merit of specific courses, programs, or initiatives can be judged on the strength of their adherence to these principles and encourage students and professors to seek out and create digital learning environments that follow and embody them.

Global contribution
Online learning should originate from everywhere on the globe, not just from the U.S. and other technologically advantaged countries. The best courses will be global in design and contribution, offering multiple and multinational perspectives. They should maximize opportunities for students from different countries to collaborate with one another, to contribute local knowledge and histories and to learn one another’s methods, assumptions, values, knowledge and points of view.

Value
The function of learning is to allow students to equip themselves to address the challenges and requirements of life and work. Online learning can serve as a vehicle for skills development, retraining, marketable expertise. It can also support self-improvement, community engagement, intellectual challenge, or play. All of these functions are valid. The best programs and initiatives should clearly state the potential contexts in which they offer value.

Flexibility
Students should have many options for online learning, not simply a digitized replication of the majors, minors, requirements, courses, schedules and institutional arrangements of conventional universities. The best online learning programs will not simply mirror existing forms of university teaching but offer students a range of flexible learning opportunities that take advantage of new digital tools and pedagogies to widen these traditional horizons, thereby better addressing 21st-century learner interests, styles and lifelong learning needs. Ideally, they will also suggest and support new forms of interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary inquiry that are independent of old gatekeepers such as academic institutions or disciplines, certification agencies, time-to-degree measurements, etc.

Hybrid learning
Freed from time and place, online learning should nonetheless be connected back to multiple locations around the world and not tethered exclusively to the digital realm. This can happen by building in apprenticeships, internships and real-world applications of online problem sets. Problem sets might be rooted in real-world dilemmas or comparative historical and cultural perspectives. (Examples might include: “Organizing Disaster Response and Relief for Hurricane Sandy” or “Women’s Rights, Rape, and Culture” or “Designing and Implementing Gun Control: A Global Perspective.”)

Persistence
Learning is emergent, a lifelong pursuit, not relegated to the brick walls of an institution or to a narrow window of time during life; it has no specific end point. The artificial divisions of work, play and education cease to be relevant in the 21st century. Learning begins on a playground and continues perpetually in other playgrounds, individual and shared workspaces, communities and more. Learning can be assessed but doesn’t aim itself exclusively toward assessment.

Innovation
Both technical and pedagogical innovation should be hallmarks of the best learning environments. A wide variety of pedagogical approaches, learning tools, methods and practices should support students’ diverse learning modes. Online learning should be flexible, dynamic, and individualized rather than canned or standardized. One size or approach does not fit all.

Formative assessment
Students should have the opportunity to revise and relearn until they achieve the level of mastery they desire in a subject or a skill. Online learning programs or initiatives should strive to transform assessment into a rich, learner-oriented feedback system where students are constantly receiving information aimed at guiding their learning paths. In pedagogical terms, this means emphasizing individualized and timely (formative) rather than end-of-learning (summative) assessment. Similarly, instructors should use such feedback to improve their teaching practices. Assessment is only useful insofar as it helps to foster a culture of success and enjoyment in learning.

Experimentation
Experimentation should be an acknowledged affordance and benefit of online learning. Students should be able to try a course and drop it without incurring derogatory labels such as failure (for either the student or the institution offering the course). Through open discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of programs, the industry should develop crowd-sourced evaluative guides to help learners choose the online learning that best fits their needs.

Civility
Courses should encourage interaction and collaboration between students wherever it enhances the learning experience. Such programs should encourage student contributions of content, perspectives, methods, reflecting their own cultural and individual perspectives. Online learning programs or initiatives have a responsibility to share those contributions in an atmosphere of integrity and respect. Students have the right and responsibility to promote and participate in generous, kind, constructive communication within their learning environment.

Play
Open online education should inspire the unexpected, experimentation, and questioning–in other words, encourage play. Play allows us to make new things familiar, to perfect new skills, to experiment with moves and crucially to embrace change–a key disposition for succeeding in the 21st century. We must cultivate the imagination and the dispositions of questing, tinkering and connecting. We must remember that the best learning, above all, imparts the gift of curiosity, the wonder of accomplishment, and the passion to know and learn even more.

Blogging scaffolding connected learning with students

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A major topic of my PGP, is Student Connected Learning. Although, edtech has been a long term specialty my entire professional life, recent developments provide encouraging opportunities for both teacher professional growth and improved student learning.

Through my participation in the open education, ETMOOC course and my ongoing personal learning network, I’m developing my insights and teaching toolbox for blogging and social media in the classroom. Engaging students with academic online experiences that complement curricula and classroom learning activities is my focus. Connected learning has been monopolized, however well intended, by Distance Learning efforts. Blogging, etc. within the classroom and alongside face to face instruction offers powerful benefits for all students. Blogging and ePortfolios is the student 3ring binder on a nutrition and fitness revolution.

20130216-113012.jpg
DL has its place, but exploiting online learning ecosystems while teaching and modelling digital citizenship can personalize student learning and develop skills and content knowledge. Students co-creating online, like building ePortfolios, while engaged in classroom activities rather than paper binders provides opportunities for collaboration, discussions and deeper thinking. Initiatives like Project Based Learning(PBL) can be enriched by leverage blogging and other online tasks.

Empowering students in the digital reality requires that teachers and students both learn within digital environments not just use software applications or researching on the web. Students and teachers may find benefits with tools like Moodle or Jupiter Grades, etc but these focus on document delivery and administration. When social media platforms are implemented with sound pedagogy and appropriate instruction scaffolding, learning shifts to student centered. Blogging and ePortfolios has potential to not just strengthen content achievement but provide experiences our students need in high school transition and lifelong learning.

Our students not only need specific instruction in using online environments but they need to develop attitudes and skills global online learning requires. Facebook skills and experience is not enough. Reading, writing and critical thinking are developed uniquely in this digital paradigm. Students can personalize their learning when teachers simultaneously integrate the uniqueness of connected learning platforms with their content expertise. Adult education WILL increasingly include online ecosystems and its time teachers embraced not just the pragmatic but the creative potential social media brings to their practice.

‘An e-portfolio is a purposeful aggregation of digital items – ideas,
evidence, reflections, feedback etc, which “presents” a selected audience
with evidence of a person’s learning and/or ability.’
Sutherland, S. and Powell, A. (2007), Cetis SIG mailing list discussions [www.jiscmail.ac.uk/archives/cetis-portfolio.html] 9 July 2007

20130216-100700.jpg

Social media interactions
The Myth of Web 2.0 Non-Participation(Gary Hayes, Flickr)

20130216-112329.jpghttp://openspace.falmouth.ac.uk/courses/blogging-educational-environments/unit-two-student-blog-building-blocks-scaffolding/session-


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Flipper teacher popstar -not your average artist

Norah Jones on Soundcheck 6

Our ‘flipper teacher’ Carolyn Durley of Kelowna recently posted ‘if I was a pop star’ and how can resist to comment? A tweet or RE just didn’t seem appropriate for this ROCK STAR.

I tease of course, but there is truth in the pop star analogy. Ms Durley ‘performs’ in my district as Biology teacher who’s lessons are flipped. Cartwheels is what I hear. Maybe a new breed of instructor? Although I am an obsessive fan I’ve never actually met the woman. Sad but real, teachers get little chance to interact. Is she elusive and secretive like some rockers? No. Teachers are just too busy signing autographs and holding press conferences.

I met Carolyn, not at Woodstock but online as @okmbio. I proudly say she is part of my PLN. Groupie you say? Sure, why not, but without entering the Twittersphere ;like a great indie band, I’d never get to enjoy her music. Our rocker seeks out knowledge, methods and loves her students. I’m sure kids enrol in her class, not for Biology, but rather for the experience. Like many masters I’ve witnessed over the years, many high school teens often seek out the strong teachers not the easy course. I learned this from my own son. Rock star status, for teachers is not about flipping or cartwheeling but embracing caring, passion, and craftsmanship. It’s in the art.

After reading her post, I knew intuitively that she is not just on her World Tour but reaffirming my belief in teachers using eclectic styles in their craft.

poetry notebooking Clickbeetle She us such a renaissance man- woman. in the literal sense. I suspect you teach the poetry of living things in every Biology lesson and just forget that as we investigate the science of teaching, we discover teaching has always been an art. Education eagerly tries to make itself a science but at its own peril. We enthusiastically strive for a ‘system’. Education corporations try to sell their ‘business’ as science but mostly it just sells products. The honest truth of a classroom teachers’ stardom is her ability to find connections between people and content. It’s an art. Carolyn Durley is an artist. Teaching Biology just her choice of instrument.

If I was a pop star…
by Carolyn Durley A Fine Balance blog…
If I was a pop star…

I could be played loudly in your household or even directly into your child’s ear and no one would question my presence in your life…singing my content message sweetly (ok maybe not sweetly, but I would try :)) perhaps even multiple times in one day…

I could say what I needed to say without repercussion…when I wrote a song that everyone wanted to listen to…

My song would be mysterious and sweeping, ethereal and haunting. Listening once would never be enough because you would be drawn into the story; I would weave you in with my words….

Images:

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmiehomeschoolmom/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kindofadraag

  • UbD and serendipity: why planning helps

    http://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/ubd-and-serendipity-why-planning-helps-rather-than-hinders-creativity/

    “A recent query via Twitter asked a question we often hear: isn’t UbD (or any planning process) antithetical to such approaches as project-based learning and inquiry-based learning, since you can’t and shouldn’t plan for an unknown serendipitous result? More generally, isn’t there something faintly oppressive and hampering of creativity in such planning approaches?

    In short: no. The question conflates planning with micro-managing. We plan – whether in the family, on the playing field, for battle, or for musical production – in order to achieve desirable results, in the face of uncertainty and opportunity. But that in no way means we advocate rigid recipes. Let me explain….”

    Sent from my iCloud Al Smith
    literateowl


    Digital storytelling- the still photo as 3rd person narrative

    Digital Stories – The still reportage photo as 3rd person narration, perspective.  “What is that ^%$* tin cup doing in that tree?!”

    PICT0056(Al Smith, Flickr )

    As a self-proclaimed photographer, I have embraced visual media in the classroom for years. Even before I studied the nuances, I intuitively knew that images could be powerful storytelling.   Among the barrage of imagery today, the value of image stories is still a powerful learning device even if photography’s virtues are muddled by Photoshop, popular media and Instagram fatigue.  Some people foolishly go so far as to say the ‘word’ or written language skills are decreasing in importance. I recently heard a Principal declare that kids today don’t need to learn how to write- the written word is an old skill.  I disagree completely. People are reading more, writing faster, and writing more often. (More.. Ian Brown, Globe). For another essay…

    Visual literacy is more than itself, it can complement digital storytelling and story creation.  Stories help build meaning.  Using images as narratives can promote deep reflection, mindfulness and generate discussion AND personal expression- whether graphical or written.   As a teaching device with sound pedagogy, images are a teachers oldest asset. The digital medium is just a matter of delivery and imagination.

    My crude fast venture into Voicethread via the app but under my current FOI conundrum now I’m not sure if I can use it with students either.

    Try it out and see if it works? You won’t be able to add your own comments directly. If anyone is a VoiceThread user, by all means nudge me along. Thanks

    Digital Stories – The still Photo (8 pages) https://voicethread.com/share/4080720

    Click the link above to view and participate in the VoiceThread.  Making comments is really simple and you can delete and re-record as many times as you like.

    If you are viewing this on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch and you have the VoiceThread app installed, tap here to view this VoiceThread on your device.

    Al Smith
    Literateowl.com @literateowl literateowl@gmail.com


    TechShop- what we could learn about learning

    I’ve been enrolled in etmooc.org this past few weeks. The #etmooc was my first. Open education advocates like @courosa and @cogdog have crafted a world wide course exploring online learning and technology education curricula. This concept has shared many discussions of paradigms and inspired educators to blog their own experiences. The open collective seems to be part of the potential. Many educators have presented, written, tweeted or discussed the value of constructivist learning with the obvious digital theme. See my post > converting-lc-as-sandbox/

    PICT0059Another ‘maker’ open community, TechShop has pushed obstacles of entrepreneurship and technical innovation. TechShop labs were built. Experts volunteer mentoring and inventors or designers experiment with projects free from the restrictions traditional education and corporate R&D politics. The boyhood dreams while building Lego transpire into engineering realities ie. origami kayak, see below. The TECHSHOP model connects nicely with my previous post ‘connected learning- digital sandbox’

    If educators and schools could embrace more similar opportunities we could be preparing our students for the future much better than we do. There is nothing wrong with classroom methods that look traditional. Many master teachers benefit students’ intellectual growth with lecture based lessons. We need to keep our best storytellers but we need more sandboxes and techshops especially for our boys. Many boys need the kinaesthetic avenues they loved with Lego. Attention spam and focus isn’t all learner weakness. It can be environment restrictions too.

    The open supportive creative diversity may also be part of the TechShop magic. Designing facility, capacity and support around access and flexible teaching and support by collaborative teams. I also think education needs to RE-assess how we evaluate learning. How governments direct assessment is part of it. Gatekeepers talk flexibility, openness, online access, and tarnish teacher morale by suggesting they are behind the times and rigid. I could not disagree more. In my jurisdiction (#bced) I see dedicated, educated and skilled teachers driving innovation not blocking it. The learning process of a MOOC is like a TechShop in many ways but it does require mature motivated participants to function. Techshops also have powerful face to face interactions not just an online community. They have labs built around US centers. Applying a MOOC to high school setting is perhaps problematic but not if educators could design modules with appropriate scale and scope. I believe the potential lies in solving how schools design opportunities that guarantee the online features of MOOCs with the powerful face to face experience in various forms. The realities of programming and caring for kids K-12 is huge. 4×8 timetables, length of day, staffing, supervision, safety, etc all dominate our landscape. It’s why our schools appear closed. Its why Distance Learning courses are glorified ‘correspondence classes’ that generate poor results. It’s why open communities are tricky. Maybe, somehow, we need more constructivist forms like TechShop?

    TechShop is a chain of member-based workshops that lets people of all skill levels come in and use industrial tools and equipment to build their own projects. They have three locations in California, one in North Carolina, one in Michigan, and one in Texas.(Wikipedia)

    CNN TheNextListhttp://whatsnext.blogs.cnn.com/

    20130203-120256.“Four years ago, I moved into a small San Francisco apartment, and had to put my kayak in storage. At the same time, I read a magazine article on new advances in the art and science of origami. This led to a question that soon became an obsession: what if a boat could fold up like a piece of paper? What if it could go wherever you wanted it to go? I started folding paper models, and soon switched to full-scale plastic prototypes that I tested in the Bay and elsewhere. I built over twenty versions – first in a friend’s garage, then at Tech Shop in San Francisco. Tech Shop was a revelation: Its tools allowed me to build far better and faster, and the community got me thinking about the future of the Oru Kayak.
    I met entrepreneurs who had turned obsessions into livelihoods, and encouraged me to think more about getting the Oru Kayak out into the world.”(CNN, Willis)

    Other related reading…

    DETROIT — The past decade has seen a 93% drop in IPOs for sub-$50 million companies, Mark Hatch, CEO of do-it-yourself workshop TechShop, said today.
    Speaking at a Techonomy Detroit session on the DIY economy and crowdfunding, he attributed that squarely to bureaucracy and legislation such as Sarbanes Oxley, the law that tightened rules and added regulation for public companies in 2002, after Enron, Tyco, and other high-profile financial scandals burned investors and reduced faith in stock exchanges.
    “We live in a completely different space than we did 10 years ago,” said Hatch, citing the explosion of innovation as tools, design, and even fundraising is being democratized.
    Square made its first prototypes at a TechShop. The world’s fastest electric motorcycle was built at a TechShop. And OpenROV, the open source robotic submersible, was designed and built at a TechShop.
    The problem, in Hatch’s view, is that “small” exits via initial public offerings have almost disappeared, due to the extra regulation. Which means that companies have to either get huge, get acquired, or stay at mom-and-pop scale.
    De-regulating investing is a big priority for government – Congress and President Obama have recently tried to make it easier for companies to get funding by passing the JOBS Act.

    Read more at http://venturebeat.com/2012/09/12/techshop-ceo-mark-hatch-we-have-destroyed-entrepreneurship-in-this-country/#VUz6ZBWg8EOo6tJU.99