Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Promised So Here Goes, Mom

"I, Suw Charman-Anderson, will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people do the same."
Suw met her challenge honoring Ada Lovelace's birthday today, and I'm helping take it over the top with my pledge to honor a woman in technology who I admire. She's my Mom, Kathy Krauss. Those who know her admire Kathy for everything but technology, so let me explain (save your eye rolls, siblings!) Mom is a scholar, mostly retired now, who she teaches one perennially sold-out course each spring called World Religions. Today we met for lunch and she asked me how to set up a community space on the Web where she, her students and guests could continue their conversations beyond the weekly class. After figuring out the functions they might require, I agreed to set up a wiki for them. (PBWiki has a new "comments" function that makes any page more blog-like; I think that's the wiki platform I'll use.) I told her to poll her class for the wikiliterate and to put someone in touch with me who could be point person, populating the site and helping students familiarize themselves with its functions.

I kind of bent the rules with this post-- Among the 1,000 women celebrated today, my Mom isn't likely to come in in the top tier of female technology innovators, yet she deserves a shout out for being solidly in the game. I'm impressed that Mom constantly wants to improve her teaching, and sees the value of connecting her students in new, significant ways. I'm impressed that she isn't daunted by the specter of new technology (but you'll notice I did a work around on having HER manage the site.) This is going to be a lot of fun.

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