The Learning Locker

After a lengthy chat tonight with someone I respect, I have some questions for you.

Is it really important that we have a physical space for “The Learning Locker” or could a similar idea work on the web?  Basically think of an Amazon-like site (or maybe even THROUGH Amazon) where teachers could go and order material.  Is that less useful?  Or just as useful?

The costs of maintaining a physical store and staff would eat into the product we could supply teachers.  It’s overhead that would be hard to avoid.

I can’t think of a real reason for a physical presence now that I have been offered this alternative.  Would need some central office somewhere to mange things, but beyond that everything could be cyber-based.  Get shippers like FedEx and UPS to ship free.  Partner with an existing company with on online store to fill the orders – just build a specific portal for the teachers.

Maybe at this point we don’t even partner with individual companies – we seek funding from someone like the Gates Foundation, and just buy stuff outright in bulk and ship it.  Less time begging – more time to serve customers.  I don’t know anyone with an in to the Gates Foundation, or anything similar – do you?  It would be an interesting new approach to the problem.  The portal could allow teachers to request things, express thanks, explain what a difference the program made, etc.  It is a MUCH more software centric approach, and would require more software resources.  But almost no hardware resources.

What do you think?  Let me know in the comments.



  1. Not important at all for a physical space, in fact I say that a physical space makes it more difficult, cumbersome, and expensive.

    The internet would simplify things, prevent the need for franchising, offer new opportunities, more tools to give teachers.

    You will need to make shipping damn speedy though. I know I would sacrifice price for being able to get the item faster, especially if it was needed urgently for a class coming up soon. Yeah, it might mean paying out of pocket, but if I need something, I need it. Can’t be avoided. I’ll head right out and get it that night.

    However if you are able to get overnight shipping and such arranged, that would be amazing. Teachers can head to the site during school to order an item and be assured they’ll have it the next day, no questions asked.


    Also please email me about the design, wordpress should give you the email. I tend to be slow and forgetful when it comes to graphics work (I don’t know why, I love doing it) so if you don’t pester me about it I’ll forget about it completely.

  2. errr, I meant to write: I like the idea a lot because it KEEPS the focus on the teachers….

  3. Rob, I took a peek at the Gates Foundation website and while this particular program you are working on may fall outside their filed of interest, there was this link: that offers resources for grant seekers. That might be helpful.

    I like the idea a lot, actually. Allows you to put the focus on the teachers.