Why I’m Ruining our Website

I have just come back from a trek through Washington, DC. and Denham Springs, Louisiana. In a few weeks, I’m heading out to North Dakota.

Sully's HillHow does that justify tearing apart our website?

It’s like this …. once you get out of the Silicon Beach / Silicon Valley bubble you realize that there is an entire world of people out there who do not have high speed Internet access. Some of them are me, on an airplane, in an airport, at a hotel, in a convention center.

Some of them are in rural areas that claim to have broadband access but I have seen broadband access and this isn’t it. We received significant funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop games to teach mathematics and social studies based on Native American culture, which are used in many remote communities.

We recently received another USDA grant to develop games that teach math, social studies and English for rural schools serving English language learners.

In those communities, a website that requires a lot of video download and high resolution graphics is definitely tone-deaf to local needs.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll see major changes both here and on our companion site “Don’t Get Dumber Over Summer” . These include removing some background images and decreasing the size of other images. You’ll still be able to check out our videos, both on youtube playlists and on this site. However, you won’t find slide shows or streaming video.

If you live in Menlo Park, you may think those changes made our site worse. However, for many people around the country, it means our site is more user-friendly. It’s like Maria said, we’re making technology for the 100%.


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