Helping young people through recognition of their vocational skills

Have you visited Mike Seyfang’s Learndogpup blog? Do it…it’s an experience! I met Mike and his offsider Dave Wallace – and was inspired to dabble toes in geeky waters – at CISA’s Connecting Up conference in Adelaide a few weeks ago.

The global scale of the idea – to create a positive learning experience to help kids make better life choices and deal with the youth dangers of depression and suicide – is huge BUT it fits both a world-wide need AND the e-medium.

“Our goal is to launch LearnDog on a global stage so millions of kids can showcase their talents using new media.” says Mike.

Previously in a senior Microsoft position for nine years, Mike – a windsurfing fanatic from Adelaide – is now Learndog’s Product Manager, developing its vision and web presence. Mike’s blog is just a little bit ‘out there’ and he is REALLY establishing a global web presence!

More about Learndog

  • On the global stage, Learndog plans using new and old media – radio, TV, press, blogging, PodCasting, chat and SMS – so millions of 14-18 yearolds, and disadvantaged people, can have their talent recognised and their stuff published in ways that will attract positive attention. It aims to be the world’s most trusted CONNECTION to publishing services for kids.
  • Learndog -‘pup’ at the moment – is a funky cartoon character who will communicate with kids and help them learn ‘stuff’ by finding ways to show their talents and link them to training and/or ‘well-being’ programs.
  • Archer Colleger has supported Learndog through its first twelve ‘puppy’ months. Mark Keough, passionate about the Learndog vision, is the founder of both LearnDog and Archer College.

About Archer College
A nationally accredited Registered Training Organisation, the college delivers professional training using the latest educational technologies. It provides customised courses via the internet aiming to do away with any sense of isolation/dislocation students might have about e-learning. It creates a learning community in regular contact through Archer’s website, blog and podcasts etc.

Where is the Learndog Project at right now?

Check out the SWOT analysis

After 12 months prep there are case studies, a board and a plan, and it’s hoped they can avoid going down the goverment funding path.

The plan is:

  • set up a ‘Public company limited by guarantee (Non Profit) under Australian federal law’;
  • seek tax (Deductible Gift Recipient) tax status;
  • set up entities in strategic countries around the world.

“We could do with some help,” says Mike.

It’s estimated they will need $500,000 AUS to cover staff, infrastructure and project costs for a viable launch in Spring 2006, and are seeking a sustainable revenue source given their ‘recognition services’ will be free. Under consideration:

  • sponsorship
  • philanthropy
  • premium memberships
  • parental memberships

Can YOU help?