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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

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January 22, 2008 5:37 PM

Mark Anderson's new gig, same as the old gig?

Posted by Brier Dudley

Friday Harbor tech commentator, consultant and newsletter publisher Mark Anderson has a new job.

Anderson announced today that he's now chief executive of Project Inkwell, a computers-in-education initiative spawned a decade ago by his Strategic News Service newsletter community.

Inkwell aims to be a standards body for computing platforms used in K-12 education. It also advocates for every student having a computer, with backing from companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Red Hat.

Anderson will continue to publish the SNS newsletter but he's been more involved with Inkwell for several months, since the departure of its previous chief executive, Bruce Wilcox.

"I thought I had no extra time and now I have two jobs,'' he said, adding that the job overlaps with his SNS role because both involve staying in touch with tech industry leaders and trends.

Anderson said he wants Inkwell to move faster. Although discussions of the project began a decade ago, it has lately been eclipsed by higher-profile education efforts such as the One Laptop Per Child project.

He said Inkwell is now starting a project in Utah and entering discussions with Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire and state officials in Arizona.

How would Washington state pay for laptops for every student?

"It's not my job to answer that question -- that's above my pay grade," Anderson quipped.

Maybe Anderson should talk to Kal Raman, the former drugstore.com boss whose Bellevue education startup, GlobalScholar.com, today announced a partnership with the South Carolina Department of Education.

South Carolina plans to use GlobalScholar's technology to develop its online curriculum platform. The press release said the company's "online tools allow educators to communicate with parents and students regularly to illustrate work performed, note upcoming assignments and agree on clear objectives for each student."

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