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?Ã‚Â Basically think of an Amazon-like site (or maybe even THROUGH Amazon) where teachers could go and order material.Ã‚Â Is that less useful?Ã‚Â Or just as useful?
The costs of maintaining a physical store and staff would eat into the product we could supply teachers.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â Would need some central office somewhere to mange things, but beyond that everything could be cyber-based.Ã‚Â Get shippers like FedEx and UPS to ship free.Ã‚Â 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.Ã‚Â Less time begging – more time to serve customers.Ã‚Â I don’t know anyone with an in to the Gates Foundation, or anything similar – do you?Ã‚Â It would be an interesting new approach to the problem.Ã‚Â The portal could allow teachers to request things, express thanks, explain what a difference the program made, etc.Ã‚Â It is a MUCH more software centric approach, and would require more software resources.Ã‚Â But almost no hardware resources.
What do you think?Ã‚Â Let me know in the comments.