Receiving educator e-mail prompts but not actually in education

Hello!
Okay here's a funny one. As in "peculiar". I just received an all new e-mail for "16 FREE Robotics Educator's Courses Planned in 2018". Now I freely admit that I sometimes do provide teachable moments to several like minded people at a hack night gathering that meets two Tuesdays a month, however this is where it gets peculiar: none of this concerns the subject. I imagine if I showed up for the April next year event in Brooklyn with this laptop or a completely different but equally qualified device I would be welcomed with open arms, (all of them), but I would feel some what strange there. Besides I would definitely not try to ask all of the questions.....

I do have a sister who is in the field. However she knows gornicht (nothing) about electronics. I typically need to spend hours explaining why her laptop is behaving badly to her. For you erco, think bad cat behavior scenes. And I do also have a sister who knows nearly as much as I do regarding electronics, just not as it applies to the strange stuff that I work. For which she's decidedly surprised over.

Comments

  • 15 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Yes, it was a wide-reaching e-mail message.

    We've made a major commitment to train 500 teachers this year. They're all getting the Professional Development for free, including a robot. To make our efforts worthwhile, we're sometimes casting a much wider net. This message probably went to every single person on the Parallax e-mail list. Thankfully, people like you understand that we've got a couple of different markets but we're focusing on the one that brings us the highest level of success.

    Thanks educator Buck!

    Ken Gracey
  • I was excited when I saw an email about a free Parallax class in NH but was then disappointed when I noticed it was only for educators. Can non-educators attend if there end up being free spots?
  • Ken Gracey wrote:
    This message probably went to every single person on the Parallax e-mail list.
    I got four of them -- including one addressed to Browser! :)

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • PublisonPublison Posts: 9,871
    edited December 2017 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Ken Gracey wrote:
    This message probably went to every single person on the Parallax e-mail list.
    I got four of them -- including one addressed to Browser! :)

    -Phil

    RIP Browser.
    Browser%20Christmas.jpg

    604 x 496 - 124K
    Infernal Machine
  • Browser, nice to see you again.

    David, I suppose so but we haven't talked much about it inside. We have an important business goal to make these classes productive for the target customers. To put it more clearly, it's this type of business that enables the Propeller 2 to exist.

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    Browser, nice to see you again.

    David, I suppose so but we haven't talked much about it inside. We have an important business goal to make these classes productive for the target customers. To put it more clearly, it's this type of business that enables the Propeller 2 to exist.

    Ken Gracey
    Yes, I understand that this is Parallax's core business. That's why I would be interested in experiencing one of your classes. They certainly have a stellar reputation! In any case, I can understand that you need to limit them to educators. Maybe I should look around to see if there is a local school that could use some volunteer help in their robotics program.
  • Hello!
    More of the same here. I'd be interested in providing my two bits worth, but only if I'm not taking up someone else's seat. That is being present at the two days in April next year in Brooklyn. Strangely enough the host space belongs to the school who in Manhattan provides the space for that Hack Night event.

    And Ken I do appreciate the effort. I've seen several of these go out, just not with the frequency you have Phil, but this one stood out.
  • @kengracey, I forwarded the email to the administrator of our school system's high school STEM program, and encouraged her to forward it to the other local school systems. However, it looks like the nearest location (Falls Church) is several hours away. Seeing that there are some gaps in the schedule, do you have flexibility to add another location and how many participants would you need to consider it?
  • It's nothing new to me that Seairth is a better person than I am. But once again I'm impressed. I'd tossed the email in the trash...along with the other 49 irrelevant emails I get everyday. It never occurred to me to forward the announcement to the appropriate personnel within our local school district. Christmas & NY afford an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. My goal for 2018: Be more helpful!
  • K2 wrote: »
    It's nothing new to me that Seairth is a better person than I am.

    Thanks, but this is entirely selfish motives. If Parallax folds, I don't get a P2. ;D
  • It's a great idea, this just reminded me to forward the email to my Uncle. He teaches high school A&P, but I'm sure he knows the tech teachers at his school. We probably all know someone who could pass the info on to the appropriate instructors. Let's help fill up Parallax's classes with some new blood! ;)
  • Boosting this issue again along with an update.

    We are now 300 confirmed registrations of our 500 teachers. It costs us about $250+ to train each educator to use our products, so this is a substantial cost to engage in this manner. You'll need to trust me on the numbers since I've been doing this specific thing for 20 years and researched/analyzed it from a number of views.

    At this stage it becomes important to get the BEST, most QUALIFIED educators in the courses (and the ones with means to buy robots). Therefore, your assistance in getting the message to your local schools remains of highest importance to Parallax's business.

    We are usually competing against hardware produced and sold at the cost of the components. Copycat Arduinos can be bought for $5. Further, between external funding for low-cost hardware from huge companies and venture capital funded one-hit-wonder hardware we are among the few companies who actually have a sustainable system that pays for itself. This particular point is VERY important for educators, though they may not know it. It means they'll have support when they need it, that the Blockly system can remain free, and that the hardware creates a long-term pathway to industry.

    I should also reinforce something several of you have noted: the Propeller 2 depends entirely on our success in the education market.

    Ken Gracey
  • Ken Gracey wrote: »
    At this stage it becomes important to get the BEST, most QUALIFIED educators in the courses (and the ones with means to buy robots). Therefore, your assistance in getting the message to your local schools remains of highest importance to Parallax's business.

    Ken, did you see my question to you a couple posts back?

  • I hope your professional development classes go well. I'll check with a friend who teaches music in a local high school to see if he can put me in touch with anyone at his school who would be interested in a robotics class.
  • Seairth wrote: »
    @kengracey, I forwarded the email to the administrator of our school system's high school STEM program, and encouraged her to forward it to the other local school systems. However, it looks like the nearest location (Falls Church) is several hours away. Seeing that there are some gaps in the schedule, do you have flexibility to add another location and how many participants would you need to consider it?

    Hey Seairth! Thanks for bringing me back to this question. I saw it previously but was unable to answer because the course planning was in a tremendous state of change. At the moment we have 18 courses planned - this is a tremendous commitment. We have 320 teachers signed up and should easily hit 500 educators.

    Adding courses is easy with the schedule, but the costs are mounting. We've got to deliver on the 500 before we get in any deeper, so I've got to say "no, not now, but maybe summer and certainly the Fall!".

    The next courses will be planned quickly, so it would be great if you could connect me somehow to that region, some people or share ideas about where we could run the course. Since we're already doing the training for free and giving them robots, the location must be free to Parallax.

    Ken Gracey

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