Phase II Project Plan

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:33 am
PostPost subject: Phase II Project Plan
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Fall 2006
Puppetools Phase II Project Plan
(Inner Circle Working Document)
Phase II Launch Date: January, 2007

The Inner Circle will be composed of 10 to 25 members and associates out of a pool of about 500 members. Participation may take from 5-8 hours of consultation time, including the time it takes to read the Phase II Project Plan and to share your thoughts.

Current Inner Circle Members

Dale Katzen, New York

Toni Gross, New Mexico

Aparna Nambiar, India

Mary Jo Huff, Indiana

Nicole Olfiesh, California

Amy Wallace, New Jersey

Steve Granek, Arizona

Nis Skov, Denmark

Carmen Legacy, Hawaii

Suzanne Hale, Ottawa, Canada

Suzi Wollman, Ukraine

Payal Kaushal, India

Lorelee Parker BC, Canada

Sonja Soegaard, Denmark

Role of Puppetools Inner Circle: Sept 15-Oct-30th

· Read the Phase II Project Plan
· Reflect and offer insights and commentary, positive, negative, strategic.
· Talk to others. Obtain their impressions and input.
· Share these with Jeff in telephone interviews
· Occasional follow-up discussion

The Puppetools Phase II Plan will use video strategies to:

· Attract and recruit paying teachers
· Motivate teachers to contribute video as the primary site resource
· Pay teacher royalties and commissions
· Objective: establish a sustainable business base

Note to Inner Circle members

I am grateful for the time and care you are giving to this project. The contribution of Inner Circle members is crucial to the success of the Phase II plan. Building a viable online training process for teachers, of course, presents a great challenge, but also a greater promise. If I can grow Puppetools dramatically on the web, not only will we have overcome many barriers and resistances to programs like Puppetools that promote creativity and resourcefulness, but we also will potentially grow Puppetools into a world wide cultural phenomenon capable of changing the heart of education. An overly ambitious vision to be sure. But in harnessing the energy of Play, we have the power to achieve such a sweeping impact.

The Puppetools Difference

Unlike the publishing houses and consulting companies that ‘service’ the education field with textbooks, workbooks, and commodities that require continued dependence and re-stocking, Puppetools’ goal is nothing less than the flowering of teaching talent and play-based communication. In effect our mission is to lead and transform.

Brief History

Phase I has been a long process of research and development ranging from years of on-site programs in the 70s and 80s. In the 90s Puppetools began to move to the web. We currently have 500 Members who have sought us out without advertising. During this time, Puppetools has become a pioneer in brain science with its unique work in play and communication. Now, with the sudden popularity and accessibility of video on the web, Puppetools is positioned to host what could be the greatest show in education. Phase II will put into play a plan for the dramatic growth of Puppetools as a global model of play-propelled education. But as we are enter the real world, we must become ‘business viable’.

Video Showcase and How-To Will Drive Our Mission

The Puppetools web site will showcase the work of a strong, talented, and emerging core of teachers. Streaming video will be the medium of choice. We believe that the nature of this video, entertaining, compelling and unique, will have the power to attract educators from all over the world. In the realm of institutional learning, our intent is to make this exhibition of talent and play-based communication one of the most appealing and fascinating shows to appear on the worldwide web—thereby advancing the power of play in classrooms everywhere.

The Phase II Engine: The Member Video Publishing Program (MVPP)

Video segments or shorts produced by members will be our flagship site attraction. Teacher-made videos will be published and monitored for their popularity under the assumption that these clips and segments will draw new members to the site. These clips will show the magic and excitement of using puppets both in students’ and teachers’ hands. The video segments and clips will be both email-able and web stream-able.

How MVPP Works

As teachers teach or work with the puppets they have made, and begin to apply the methods and techniques, they will capture their sessions on video, and then send the video to us:

All that will be required is to arrange to have a volunteer videotape you at work with your class. A separate audio narrative to support the video will be needed. We will do the ‘packaging. The segments will be posted in a dedicated ‘video library’ page on the Puppetools web site.

Video Handbook

A Member Video Handbook working document will be provided. It will be a useful resource for members who participate in the MVPP. A standard release form will be part of the video web site resource page.

Inner Circle Videos

Almost all of the Inner Circle members have expressed interest in participating in the Member Video Publishing Program (MVPP). Inner Circle members who choose to provide video will of course spend time in addition to that spent on the Phase II Inner Circle. In making the video, they will also be providing information on the details and flow of process involved, thereby pioneering the process for those who will follow. Obviously this would add to your busy schedule. But I intend to work closely with you and offer assistance whenever required.

All Kinds of Videos

The teacher-generated Video can fit into one or a combination of the following categories:

· A lesson or unit you have taught or are planning to teach that’s presumably different from existing videos on the web site (Be sure to consult with Jeff as you plan your segment.)
· Techniques & Methods: “How I use puppets” as enrichment, reinforcement, maintaining attention, voice, demos of techniques, problem solving.
· Puppet Interviews: where an off-camera voice is interviewing your puppet; or individual students are interviewing your puppet; or vice versa
· Teacher Interviews
· Difficult Situations that require creative solutions; issues of intolerance or character ed., bullying, etc.
· Special Programs or Themes: in which puppets are used to enhance the production: one puppet, many uses; example: cold & flu prevention;
· Clips: Funny, entertaining puppet shorts or clips that charm and attract visitors to the web site
· Personal teaching tricks of the trade (don’t tell us, show us)
· A review of a favorite book
· In addition, there will be puppetools-produced video to support teacher mental health and stress reduction: (yoga exercises, for example.)

To Charge or Not to Charge

Evolving a successful business model is our greatest challenge. Currently Puppetools is free of charge to users. That has both liabilities and advantages. Not charging allows teachers to freely access the site and register. But the level of interest and commitment is sometimes reflected in what people pay. Low pay, low interest and follow through. Puppetools and creativity are not high on the ‘everyday’ priority list. Nor are these values encouraged or supported by school administrators. So we have a thin line to walk.

The 1 Year Subscription includes:

· Opportunity to learn Puppetools—the ‘language of play’
· Opportunity to put Puppetools to work in your classroom or school
· Access to view teacher practitioner video library
· Entry into the Member Video Publishing Program
· Opportunity to contribute video
· Opportunity to qualify for royalty and commission payments
· Access to the Puppetools Online Workshop
· Access to the Global Network Forums

Discussion of Fee Structure Options:

· Flat Charge: $20.00: By itself this is no good. Teachers spend too much of their own money.
· Two for price of one: Maybe a buddy offer will help.
· Sliding Charge 20.00 on down, Nice but too open-ended.
· Donation: works sporadically on web sites, but don’t count on it.
· Sponsorship: There will be a printable page that can be used by teachers to seek sponsorship from a local businesses or agency. Take PTA Sponsorship, for example: If teachers balk at the entry fee, they can be encouraged and directed to ask the PTA to sponsor teachers, let’s say, at a cost of $15.00 per teacher. If every ‘classroom family’ contributes $1.00 (one dollar) to sponsor their child’s teacher, that would be a fine solution. On the web site, there would be a PTA Sponsorship page to explain both the importance and the benefits of PTA support. The PTA could support teacher involvement in Puppetools with funds as well as video camera assistance in the classroom. With such an active role, the PTA could become the designated recipient of the royalty payments. If parents care about enriching their children’s education, then paying $1.00 for their teacher to participate in one of the most creative teaching programs on the web not only makes economic sense, but sends a message to the the school administration that creativity matters. Sponsorships recognize that teachers already pay excessive out-of-pocket expenses, and that the school community can and should support teachers in this critical area of enrichment and training. A combination of all of these fee options could be used. Please give some thought to these ideas.

One member has already expressed concern that even a $10.00 entry fee will not be well received by prospective customers. But a contrasting view has been advanced suggesting that a $50 to a $100.00 subscription rate would get Puppetools taken more seriously, and attract teachers who are more committed. A higher fee would result in closer readings of the site documents, and would perhaps generate more serious questions before a decision to register.

The Course Credit Question:

To date no school of higher education has been found that will offer CEU credits. However, if one were found, it would mean that the registration fee to enter Puppetools Online would be in the hundreds of dollars. The old-school way of doing things does not fit Puppetools. The spirit of Puppetools is freedom from the conventional trappings and the power to rise above the limitations imposed kids and teachers in today’s classroom. So we urge teachers not to let the issue of credit prevent you from discovering the power of play. Puppetools is all about you and the joy and pleasure of teaching. It may be the most valuable learning experience you’ll ever have. You may not get CEU credit, but you will have invested in something that will continue to give your career the nutrients and energy it will need to sustain a happy and healthy life center for years to come. Puppetools addresses the heart and soul of teaching. It is a powerful and potentially priceless gift

Two Video Technology Business Models

Puppetools has tapped into two powerful engines of video: YOUTUBE.COM and HELLOWORLD.COM. Not even on the Dot Com Radar last year, YouTube is now the most popular video-viewing site on the web. Puppetools is the first education project to exploit YouTube’s video platform. HelloWorld is technology’s latest answer to email with its Video Mail application. We’ll be using both of these platforms for both marketing and showcasing Puppetools.

The Puppetools Home Page will be re-designed to increase the motivation to join the global network of teachers pioneering and adopting play as a communication principle. Learning the Language of Play will not interfere with, or add more weight to a teacher’s standardized curriculum teaching duties, but, instead, will lighten it by saving time and producing more energy to propel teaching and learning. Should the user require more information before Registering, including a review of the payment options discussed above, he or she can click to Benefits and FAQ pages.

Registration and payment will be transacted via pay pal or credit card.

Payment Program of Royalties and Commissions

Contributed Teacher Videos

Videos will be rated for their usefulness and popularity. We will establish a top 10 or 20 videos. A payment formula that provides incentive for teachers to keep on submitting their work will be used. Since the work and talent of teachers will prove critical to the site’s success, it is incumbent upon Puppetools to provide a generous and transparent payment plan that can be followed online in an admin section.

Referrals: Networking and Presenting.

We are going to ask members to help us grow, to work on behalf of children and the principle of play. We’re going to ask them to help to build interest and active participation; the burden will not on one individual but will employ the energy of all to truly USE the Internet. Any effort by members on behalf of Puppetools will be rewarded with a commission payment. Commission payments will be paid on the anniversary of the subscription.

HelloWorld Video Platform

Your school’s website or your PTA’s website can qualify for the HelloWorld affiliate status free of charge. Because Puppetools is now an affiliate of HelloWorld, individual members can purchase HelloWorld VideoMail accounts. HelloWorld affiliate programs generate residual income based on the use and spread of the HW technology.

Additional Marketing Strategies

Abundant Video Presence on Home Page Will Support Mission:

The Puppetools home page will have many new features, but the main one will be a constantly changing constellation of very short video clips. These clips will feature teachers using and working with puppets they have made. The clips will be employed as attention-getters to interest and entice members to want to explore Puppetools further. Every teacher wants to be more outgoing, creative, and playful, and the display of regular classroom teachers enjoying the power and spontaneity of play-based communication will send a strong signal.

Phase II Mission of the Puppetools Web Site

· We are putting on ‘the greatest show on (Education) earth’

· We are giving teachers a chance to show and benefit directly from sharing their talent before the community and the world at large

· We are showcasing the power of puppet play at all levels of education

· We are showing what can happen when play is applied and teachers are freed

· We are advancing the principle of evolutionary learning

· We are using play to advance the success and the marketing of the Puppetools web site

· We are establishing a global playground, a foundation on which a new order of learning and communicating can be established (learned, applied, built, and networked.)

· We are connecting play-wise teachers and classrooms all around the globe, and opening a window on those classrooms.

· Using our site, the community can bypass the gate-keepers and authorities that keep teachers and children confined to limited roles and a limited world.

· We are freeing education from its conventional, stressful, boring trappings, and what better way than through play!
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