Friday was the deadline for proposals from content creators for Five Weeks to a Social Library. At the beginning of the week, some of the planning committee was beginning to sweat because we only had 8 proposals total. After having planned HigherEd BlogCon, I knew that most would come in over that last week (and mostly the last 2 days). However, I hadn’t expected our numbers to more than triple in the last week. We ended up with an amazing 27 proposals, and a few more were promised, but we haven’t received them yet.

I feel so incredibly fortunate to have received these inspiring proposals from some of the true movers and shakers in the field. These people are blazing trails and making great things happen in their libraries and in the profession and I’m honored that they would consider being a part of this groundbreaking course. The hardest part will be deciding which proposals we can’t accept because there is too much overlap in content. :(

The content from this course (Webcasts, screencasts, podcasts, etc.) will not only benefit the students in the course, but will benefit anyone who wishes to watch/listen to these materials. We are essentially creating an amazing repository of instructional content on social software that can benefit many, many people in the profession. Perhaps in the future, people can create free online courses like this and will already have ready-made content to plug into it. Just think of how many people we can reach!

The most interesting thing I noticed about these proposals was how many came from women:

  • 17 Proposals from females only
  • 3 proposals from male/female teams
  • 7 proposals from males only

Why is this? I know people can say that it’s because it’s an online course and is run by women, other women feel more comfortable and able to take part (since they don’t have to leave family and travel). But the thing is, this is not the first all-online free educational opportunity I have planned. Michelle and I pulled off planning HigherEd BlogCon’s library track and we definitely got different gender distribution stats:

  • 10 proposals from males
  • 5 proposals from females

And that program didn’t even have any synchronous elements like this one will.

I honestly don’t have any answers to why more men went for it last time and this time more women did. Maybe you do?

To all who submitted proposals, thank you so much! I have read all of them and can honestly say that there isn’t a single one there that I wouldn’t learn something from. You all are helping to make this crazy dream I had of accessible online education a reality. :)

Look for the application for participants in the course to come out by the first week in October. I’ll definitely be making announcements about it here and all over the place.