November – December: Recruit about a dozen volunteer students to test out the idea of making connections with educators who want to help them.  Once I find some students (let me know if you can help!), I’ll recruit a volunteer teacher to pair with them, and let them start chatting and sharing hopes and dreams.  I’ll be using as a safe meeting place for these students and teachers, where I can watch what happens, get a better feel for what the needs are out there, and offer suggestions along the way.  Also apply for a grant to fund this discovery phase of the project, and use the Solve network to make connections with individuals at places like the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), Save the Children, UNICEF and other agencies.

January: Hoping to get a grant (let me know if you can help!) to fund a few MIT students to use their Independent Activities Period to work on a skeleton platform and fill it with great teaching resources.  Update 12/21/16: found out I didn’t get the Tent Foundation grant I applied for, and the pilot is harder to get off the ground than I’d hoped.  I am funding my own trip (so far, still hoping something will drop in my lap soon!) to Europe to meet people and try to get students for the willing volunteer teachers I have lined up.  Need to get some hard data here to convince myself and potential supporters that this will work!

February: My semester sabbatical from teaching begins!  Using the funding I hope to find soon, I’ll be able to travel to sites, meet with those dozen students and interview them on their experiences and needs.  Also work on the platform design concept.

March-April: Travel and record student and teacher stories, gather and process all of the feedback.

May: Report to MIT Solve at their May 8-10, 2017 meeting.  Solidify relationships I’ve been building, and get the project officially off the ground.