Are we union no it costs way too much money to do (Tony looked into for us once).
As for what level we get involved in all I say is it gets higher each day and yes we do lobby to certain degree. Lets put it like this ideas are often bounced to us before they go public.
What I would say is senior people within lot of areas take us very seriously a small example EduGeek.net has been asked to talk by most senior person in an RBC (director) to talk at there annual conference.
Would I say has Ed Balls heard of us not sure but wouldn't surprise me if he had I suspect some people senior in DCSF have heard of us.
Maybe this will help we were discussing how we fit into BETT and education market and we are either..
Google before it became evil...
We are like the brother or sister that no one in the family admits to but heck you secretly want to be them.
Community of Practice. It exists because there was/is a need for it. It also seems logical to me that if such a disparate bunch of people are to have any impact on the community outside of IT Professionals then there has to be a focus, someone who can be the "face" of Edugeek when "Going to meet 'The Man' on our behalf". I believe the site and its members serve as a weather vane for government and private companies alike, and to this end we cannot escape the fact that we are a political entity, however, it is not a trade union.
This is one of the most democratic sites I've been a member of. Over the years I've seen it metamorphose and adapt to accommodate a growing worldwide membership in an almost organic fashion to reflect the online community. Some of the level of debate (religion, ironing) has been of the highest calibre. So what was Edugeek four years ago is possibly not what Edugeek is now, though Dos_Box will correct me if I'm wrong here.
What Edugeek isn't is a closed community.
elsiegee40 (18th January 2010)
localzuk (18th January 2010)
When did that happen? I'll never believe that Google is evil. It's not true I tell you! Next you'll be telling us that Steve Jobs is the anit-Christ - blasphamy!Google before it became evil...
Nice quote, I like it.We are like the brother or sister that no one in the family admits to but heck you secretly want to be them.
Everybody likes edugeek because we tell it like it is - with little or no bull.
Who doesn't want that..?
Every wondered why professional bodies charge a lot of money and you often feel like you get little from them ... and then you are also willing to pay money to a union to provide extra cover?
A union gives advice and support on a wide range of areas, acts as the representative of its members, will a support the development and growth of the industry it is in and will try and get as many members as possible.
To do the above you have to have staff in the union to give advice and training on the legal position and implications of the jobs which are done by its members, provide legal support during disputes, provide contract support, negotiate pay and benefits, help to standardise training and qualifications, run workshops and conference, be the face of the collective, do the PR ... the list goes on and on and on.
This was before talking about getting shop stewards in each area, regional reps, a national committee ...
A conservative figure was given to me for a union to cover 3000 people as £100,000 a year for running costs. This could be reduced by making as much use of the members as possible to chip in, and getting legal support on a pro-bono basis. To set the union up would cost 5 times that due to legal costs. It would actually work better to get everyone to join a single union, get a few members to progress up the union structure and then decide whether to split off ... taking some resources with us. The legal fee to cover that would only be around £250,000 if you are lucky (plus further setup costs!)
The two big costs are legal costs and insurance.
I suppose if every single member was to pay £100 a year then it might get somewhere ...
garethedmondson (19th January 2010)
RingOfFlame (20th January 2010)
Thanks to all the Mods and Admins who've replied on here, from my perspective this gives a much clearer picture of what edugeek is doing outside of the obvious websitey forummy bit. I had a good idea that there was a lot going on, but I wouldn't have had a clue what kind of things they were.
I'd like to say that I simply appreciate the presence of Edugeek, the fact that it is available to me every day is fantastic and the diversity of it's members is incredible, there are some real experts out there too. As someone else said here already this is one of the most democratic sites I've ever visited, let alone been a member of and I'm not surprised to hear the site had a hefty valuation put on it.
Thanks to all of you that moderate and keep this place going it's an amazing community, it is also a valued one and from whats been written I imagine edugeek as an organisation is also fairly influential where it needs to be.
Most of all you give us all a voice and a place to stick together.
Not a million miles away from where we are now, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that the powers that be explored the idea. Maybe there's a future area of growth there in member services and support - without going down the route of the whole union thing.A union gives advice and support on a wide range of areas, acts as the representative of its members, will a support the development and growth of the industry it is in and will try and get as many members as possible.
But then there is the question of what we as members would be willing to pay for, and how much. And how that effects Russ's fundamental rule -
In a similar vain, as this site grows and represents more and more the interests of the education IT professional, it's only natural that it may become more politcally active. I'm too would not at all surprised if Ed Balls and other senior figures in the DCSF have not only heard of us but on some level are monitoring usWe have a fundamental rule that is what we do is free for the members so conference and other stuff are all free for you to attend. Conferences started due to lack of free technical conferences. Again ran in holidays so people could be freed to attend. Again tech days we have ran free. The site free to access and use.
If the site was to grow more along a political and representitive lines then I wonder how that would sit with our sponsors?
Certainly the site has grown a lot since I first started frequenting it. I'm certainly finding more and more that both the LEA and suppliers are becoming more and more interested in what we do here.
It'd be interesting to see where we are in 5 years time.
I think EduGeek exists partially due to the unique nature of the education sector - business IT departments aren't exactly encouraged to share how they do things with other companies, for fear of giving away competitive advantages.
Everyone here has such widely ranging levels of experience, so whilst there's always someone who knows more than you, there's also usually someone around that you can help too.
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