EducateDeviate now part of 9rules

9Rules

I’m proud to announce that EducateDeviate has been accepted into the latest round of 9rules, a well-known and well-respected blog network that features content from all areas and aspects of life.

I’m particularly stoked about being in 9rules as it’s highly sought after and it has strong community aspects. I’m interested in meeting up with other 9rules bloggers, particularly education bloggers, and see how we can work together to develop greater content. I’m also interested in getting assistance in developing EducateDeviate further, from just being a blog to being a full-fledged resource centre.

Another homeschooling/alternative education blog, Just Enough, was also accepted into this round of 9rules. I found her through looking at the accepted websites list and it’s great to have more blogs like ours around – they’re hard to find as it is! The Education community on 9rules is rather sparse at the moment, but hopefully myself and Just Enough will be able to fill it out a bit.

Huzzah! Thank you Scriv, Mike, and Tyme!

Expanding EducateDeviate – what would you like?

EducateDeviate has been up and running for over two years, and in this time it’s grown from being just a blog about my thoughts on education, to a resource for anything related to youth empowerment and non-traditional learning. With that, I’m planning to expand EducateDeviate to make it more self-sustainable, as well as being a better resource for everyone.

Here are some features I’d like to implement:

  • User-submitted content: So far I’m the only person that writes for this blog (aside for a guest post or two for Blogathon), but that means that posting schedules have to fit in with my (increasingly packed) real-life schedule. I would love to open the blog up to you, by allowing you to send in entries and see them published on EducateDeviate. Myself (and possibly a small team) would still moderate the entries for spam/clarity, but other than that, this is a great opportunity for you to get your opinions out and receive feedback from others.

  • Events listing: A lot of the posts I make on EducateDeviate are reminders for certain events or competitions – basically, anything with a certain deadline. It would be great to have a regularly-updated sidebar listing related events, which can be updated independently of the blog.
  • Resource directory: One of the main reasons I started EducateDeviate was to provide resources for alternative education opportunities. A directory of resources – programs, schools, people, links, books, etc – clearly organized and searchable by criteria would be amazing.
  • Forums: Some pretty interesting discussions can spring up here from time to time. Let’s encourage them!
  • Sponsorship: Currently, due to WordPress.com’s limitations, I am not allowed to put in any advertising. I’m not opposed to joining an ad banner service such as Nuffnag, Advertlets, or Adsense; however, I don’t want EducateDeviate to be a barrage of advertising. I’d rather advertise public services, non-profits, or youth ventures. So far I make nothing (no money) out of EducateDeviate, and while I don’t need to live off it, it would be good for EducateDeviate to sustain itself. Sponsorship from related organizations and companies would be a great way to connect EducateDeviate’s readers with other resources that could help them, and I would still have enough control to maintain editorial integrity. I could also introduce more commercial aspects such as an Amazon.com bookstore or T-shirts.

That’s just the beginning. In the future I’d like to develop the following:

  • The Educated Deviant scholarship fund to encourage young Malaysians to explore alternative education options

  • Special events such as roadshows, workshops, fairs, and so on
  • Books and other publications – the eBook I’m working on with Daniel is a great start, and I’d love to make more of these
  • Podcasts and vlogs – with enough resources, EducateDeviate could be even more interactive
  • Consulting and counselling services for companies that want to connect to young people, or for young people that want to explore alternative education but don’t know how.

As part of my goals for EducateDeviate is to develop a community of educated deviants, I would like to pose the next question to you:

What do you want to see in EducateDeviate?

Any idea, no matter how weird or silly, is fine. You may inspire something that shows up on the site! Also, if you want to help me develop EducateDeviate further (particularly if you have any experience with web development), please contact me.

Updates

Some quick updates on what I’ve been up to:

1. I didn’t get selected for the KaosPilots Stockholm. I was one of two non-Scandinavians in a bunch of 29 (the other was ironically also Bangladeshi, but has been in New York for most of his life and considers himself American) and got on quite well with the others, particularly my specific group. I thought my chances were good, but evidently not. It may have been a language issue – our group was the only English-speaking group, and English was a second language for most of the people.

I can’t talk about the specific tasks, as they’re meant to be kept secret, but suffice to say it was INTENSE. A whole lot of things to do, non-stop from 9 to 9 for two nights. It did seem a little disorganized at times (at least letting us know end times would have been good!!) and it was plenty crazy, especially in the cold snow. But it was a good experience. I’ve been in touch with the people at Aarhus (I had a chance to visit their school too) and I have a lot of support for getting into there, so we’ll see.

2. I’ve done my second year of university, though not too well (due to various factors throughout the year). I’m not sure where I stand university-wise – whether I get to continue as usual or repeat a semester, keep my scholarship or lose it. If I decide to go to Aarhus that would complicate things further. Here’s hoping things work out for the best.

3. I didn’t win the AYA Dream Malaysia Award, but that’s fine as being nominated is already pretty good. My mother and a family friend went to the ceremony on my behalf (I was in Sweden) and they told me it was a lot of fun. Thanks AYA for organizing it and congratulations to the winners!

4. As a result of the AYA nomination, I have earned a year’s worth of hosting and domain. I’m going to use it as my portfolio, and I’m considering moving EducateDeviate there and expanding it further. At least I can pick a better theme! (I’m not sure if I’ll keep using WordPress, even the standalone version. While there are a lot of add-ons, themes, and other things for it, it is a pain to customize without advanced coding knowledge, and their tech support isn’t very impressive.)

Do you have any other ideas for what I could do with the site now that I have a lot more space to play with?

Things will likely get very quiet – I’m trying to work out details for the GK3 conference, but that’s about it really. If you have any ideas for things I could cover or get involved with for the next three months, drop me a line.