Hey wonderful ecodads KS Project Backers!!
Hope you all are doing well, enjoying the blooming flowers, pollinators and are starting to thrive in the rites of Spring.
We have had some wonderful good fortune and developments that have happen of late, and we want to share our iBook Production Progress with you, and also give you an update on Rewards.
Our profound apologies for the delay in getting the Rewards out to you and thoroughly appreciate your patience.
In order to keep your shipping costs down (and our collective carbon footprint ) our plan has been to send out all the shipping at once with the iBooks installed upon the iPads, with the CA Golden Apple tshirts, hoodies, hats and stickers.
Upon conclusion of the Kickstarter campaign, before blindly launching into production, we first wanted to VALIDATE THAT THE TWO IBOOKS WERE THE ONES MOST DESIRED BY THE 6TH GRADE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS.
To validate such, we immediately entered into discussions with a focus group consisting of Eileen Thrope from the Calveras School District, Victoria Brunn from the Manteca School District, Bryan Ehlers from CA EPA, and Christy Porter-Humpert from CalRecycle, Anne Stevens from CREEC and the STEM Office, CA Dept of Education and Cal State Parks.
Members of this group facilitated introductions to teachers throughout California, who were teaching EEI 6th grade units.
We then setup and interviewed those teachers and received extremely constructive feedback, guidance and insight about how EEI was currently being taught in their classrooms and how they would like to integrate teaching the 6th grade units in their classroom using the iBooks we were producing.
We further learned that during the time we were running the Kickstarter Campaign, several of the teachers had taught EEI Unit 6.6.c. and had informed us that many of their students were more deeply engaged with this unit than any of the other units, and that the unit had become a student favorite, because it taught students about surfing and how surfboards were made.
THE NEW UNIT 6.6.c.
Some of the teachers put forth the recommendation that we make Unit 6.6.c. vs unit 6.1.1. (The Paleolithic People).
THE OLD UNIT 6.1.1.
So, we contacted some of the other members of the focus group and received their validation and approval to create Unit 6.6.c. vs 6.1.1.
Then, as luck would have it, as soon as we made the decision to build out the Renewable Resource Unit that focused on Surfing, the ecodads received an invite to attend the SustainableSurf.org ecoBoarding Project Launch Party (http://sustainablesurf.org/2012/10/ecoboard-project-official-launch-party/).
At this affair, SustainableSurf.org debuted, demoed and discussed the latest ecological surfing manufacturing methods for blanks, and new bio-resin based products. ecodads' (Michael Leifer, Will Duggan and Jeff Mendolsohn - Founder of New Leaf Paper), attended and learned about all kinds of recent advances in Surfboard ecological resins produced by a Green Chemist from UC Berkeley named Rey Banatao, and also learned of all the new styrofoam upcycling advances that were now being used in the industry.
What really floored us was the fact that with these bio-based resins glassers could literally create a board in the open air in public at a party without it being toxic.
Only a short while ago, the only way to apply resin epoxy onto a board was to wear a thick mask with not the most friendly chemicals. Hopefully more live demo events such as this will start to be done at public schools supported by presentations by many of the top surf pros who are now using these ecoBoards.
Michael Stewart, Co-Founder, SustainableSurf.org
Kevin Whilden, Co-Founder, SustainableSurf.org
A couple of weeks later, Leifer and Duggan met with Michael Stewart and Kevin Whilden, the Co-Founders of SustainableSurf.org. Both their ecoBoards and the Waste to Waves Projects seemed like ideal fits in terms of content and extensions for unit 6.6.c.
Michael and Kevin deeply reviewed unit 6.6.c. and provided their insight and feedback about how to add enhancement information to the unit to make it more current to include the new advances in Green Surfing Technology.
They offered to provide us their wonderful Content (videos, photos, info graphics and stories) to help make the iBook current and topical.
One of the great benefits of the iBooks afterall is that content can be continually updated enabling the iBooks to be "Living Books" as compared to printed books which are usually only updated once every 4 years.
Ecodads has now received, transcoded and integrated the SustainableSurf.org Content into iBook unit 6.6.c.
ecodads also met with Mark Price, Co-Founder & CEO of Firewire.
Mark also agreed to supplement the SustainableSurf.org videos and content with some of Firewire's as we build out the iBook.
And, to make sure everything was legally acceptable, we also went over all the usage rights with CalRecycle and ecodads.org Council Member and IP Attorney Stevan Lieberman, Esq. for the pictures and content for both EEI units for educational usage copyright.
While we started coding the unit 6.6.c. design, we concurrently reviewed the content of unit 6.6.b. Energy & Material Resources: Renewable or Not?
We then began to search online for supplemental and relevant videos that would enhance the students learning to make it more experiential. In the process, ecodads found an amazing catalog of recently created Rewewable Energy videos produced by the U.S. Department of Energy and connected with DaNel Hogan, a Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in charge of Energy Literacy at the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy.
DaNel was thrilled to hear about the iBooks Initiative and has been extremely helpful at not only acquiring and delivering the usage rights and HD versions of the videos to ecodads, but also has provided a phenomenal knowledge base of resources, links, maps, articles, events and insights for the creation of tho iBook.
These videos have now been transcoded and integrated into the 6.6.b. unit along with photos and other materials.
As we conducted additional research about the connectivity for the 6th grade classrooms in California, we shockingly found out that just a little more than 1/3 of all classrooms in CA had Internet access.
This discovery lead to ecodads rethinking and redesigning the content architecture of the iBooks so that ALL of the content would be resident on the iPads vs having to access any information through wifi or the Internet.
So, we have now designed each iBook to be self-contained, which means that a school does not need to have the technology infrastructure at the school to start using the iBooks. All the classrooms need is the iPads, the ability to update them once a semester, and the sturdy cart to be able to share them with 12 classrooms a semester.
Chrome books, Android and Microsoft Surface all require the Internet or Mobile (Cell) data usage to use those platforms. The iBooks wouldn't.
Concurrently, we're in discussion with several iPad refurbishing companies to see if we can get the cost of a bulk purchase of iPad2s down to approximately $250 per iPad.
So, in terms of timing, we're estimating that we'll have everything finished for the test / demo version within 2 weeks and will put that up onto the iBooks store. We're applying this week to Apple to get it in the queue for initial demo release and will ping you back within 2 weeks.
Once the demo is ready, we're going to ship all the Rewards and products.
The next posting will take place in a day or two and will feature screenshots from the production of both iBooks.
ecodads wanted to give you a comprehensive update. Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks!!
With appreciation and gratitude,