New book! Buy it now!
I need some volunteers for my new free reading program, and I hope someone (or several someones) out there might be able to help!  I really need it!  If you are interested, please read on.
As readers of this blog know, I am working on something that is tentatively being called WatchKnow Reader.  Here’s what I’ve said about it so far on the blog:
If you’re familiar with my “Fleschcards,” this program will put them all on a website (and eventually, handheld app) in a really easy-to-use format.  Suffice it to say that this is shaping up to be the most innovative and exciting new free early educational tool online (not that I’m biased or anything).  Time will tell, but I really believe this tool has the potential to be revolutionary.
Now, about the volunteer job.  For each word–and there will be about 1,500 words–there will be both a still image and a video (the video illustrates a sentence).  Well, for the last couple weeks I’ve been downloading the images and videos from a stock footage site that we’ve got a generous deal going with.  It turns out that simply picking the best media (out of a database of hundreds of thousands of items) is very time-consuming work.  Frankly, I don’t think I can do it myself and meet the October deadline I’m working to meet.  In fact, I have a feeling I’ll need all the help I can get, not just one person.
So here’s the job: I give you a script of a presentation (i.e., list of words + illustrative sentences that go with them), and you go to this stock photography and footage site and look for images that perfectly illustrate the words, and videos that perfectly illustrate the sentences.  For people familiar with Doman standards of choosing pictures, you’ll know what I’m after: clear, big pictures of the thing, and the thing only, and in the most stereotypical kind, pose, setting, etc.  For the more abstract or difficult-to-illustrate words (like “not”), the sentence should give you an idea of what I’m after.  You would give me at least one choice (if you’re not sure, more than one), and I’ll check it out. If I like it, I’ll download it–if not, I’ll find one myself.  (You won’t be able to download the content yourself, because it’s a professional stock photography site.)  I’ll give you more guidance if you volunteer.
Now, this might sound easy, but I’ve been doing it a lot lately, and it isn’t.  I’m very picky, and I sometimes end up hunting for the perfect image or video for 10 or 20 minutes (for really difficult ones).  I often don’t pick an image that comes up on the first set of search results.  This is why I can’t do 1,500 words myself by October.
In exchange for this, I can’t offer much except the satisfaction of helping out with something that could really change the world–the world’s first completely free end-to-end multimedia reading tutorial.  The project’s funder says he wants me to do for education what I’ve done for reference.  Of course, that’s a tall order.  For reference, I had to have a lot of volunteers and now I need some for this education project…  I obviously can’t guarantee that this project will be as high-profile as some of my previous projects, but frankly I feel better and more optimistic about this than anything I’ve worked on for a long time.
I can also, of course, let you see the work-in-progress.  There’s already a demo site I can let you see.  But you can’t see it if you don’t help me out!  🙂
Any takers?  Please?  Please write me at sanger@watchknow.org.  Thanks in advance!