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RFC: REQUEST FOR COLLABORATORS

The Request
If you know me well enough to know that I truly offer something unique and valuable to students, then I request that you enroll yourself to be a collaborator.  To you this may mean sending me suggestions or advice.  Or, it may mean that you are offering your help.  I am willing to compensate you for your help or involvement in my business.

Please look at the last section below, “Unknown Elements (Requests for Help)”.

Thank you,

Robert A. Fiske, Ph.D.

robert_fiske@hotmail.com

The Business
The first level of this business is Robert Fiske, Passionate Computer Instructor.  The resource I have available and will bring to the world is my unique way of teaching computer skills.

I teach skills in a way that is positive, gives personal attention, and is playful.  I encourage and engage students to participate.  Often, the students who take my classes (and keep returning) are uncertain about their use of the computer.  (Many of them are upwards of forty years old.)  They appreciate my method because I don’t rush, and I explain things carefully and completely.  I have students who have taken the same class multiple times, and they tell me they keep learning new things.

The goal of this business is to bring my classroom teaching presence to the Internet.  To do this, it must be real-time and allow for interaction and participation in the manner that students get from an actual classroom situation.

While my method and approach is not for everybody, I know that there are many students out there who will appreciate and respond to my style of teaching computers.  This is just the first level of who and what I will bring to the world.

Known Elements
These are the things about which I am confident.

·        As my first course, I will teach “Introduction to Excel” in the manner described above.  Excel is entry level software that many people wish they knew (or knew better).

·        I want to use an existing connection tool that allows me to establish an online presence in real time and permits participatory interaction.  Three capabilities the tool must have are: 1.) Desktop sharing support, 2.) Virtual whiteboard, and 3.) Recording capabilities.

·        I have identified two tools that are easily obtainable (for students): 1.) BigBlueButton, and 2.) OpenMeetings.  After I select my tool, I will post a YouTube video that explains to students how to do the software set-up.

·        For my first class I will charge a token fee.  This will attract students (up to the limit I want to teach).  Also, it will allow me to test the payment method from each student to me.

Unknown Elements (Requests for Help)
Here are areas in which I lack skill, experience or resources.

·        Setting up a self-serve online payment system.  (In other words, a student can pay online after I authorize him/her to be in the class.)

·        A video recording environment in which I can record myself talking to the class.  These recordings would be mini-modules of course content in which students could see and hear my instructions and explanations.

·        Video editing technology with which I could combine a recording of my lecturing and a recording of the computer screen showing the specific commands and clicks to use in order to arrive to the desired result.

·        Financial business planning support, and project planning support.  Minimally, this could simply be someone holding me accountable to get things done according to a timetable.