|(Photo credit: epSos.de)|
I had some apprehension over blocking part of the site off with password protected pages. My concern mainly stemmed from the fear that teachers wouldn't want to explore the site further than the first page. It needn't have worried, as the password requests have been coming steady and strong. I think my response time has been good as well; I usually get a reply out within 1-12 hours. The added bonus for me has been the words of praise and encouragement I've received with the requests.
This brings me to the main thought of this blog post. I've often been asked why I bother to put so much time into the site when I don't receive any compensation for it. It's a question I've asked myself, but truthfully, it's the intrinsic value of producing something for others that keeps me going. Daniel Pink hit the nail on the head in his book Drive. In Drive he examines what it is that motivates us as humans. Based on scientific studies of the past, he concludes that there are three essential elements that will encourage us to accomplish things: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. I can affirm that all three are present in what I do. I have complete autonomy with Real World Math. It is my creation and I am my own boss. I have a personal investment in it. I've strived to what I do well, and so the idea of mastery is also evident. From learning the Google Earth application in the beginning to using HTML formatting and video production, I've found the work holds my interest and challenges me to do better. Perhaps most importantly is purpose. As Pink describes it, "the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves". Most assuredly, I would not keep up the site without the response and interest from others. I feel that I am providing something others want.
And so, I would like to thank all of you who have visited the site, requested the password access, and especially for the kind words you have shared with me. You have encouraged me to do more and to do it better.