ASTROCOM: A Global Astronomy Community for Telescopes in Education and Outreach
For 20+ years robotic telescopes in education have been the subject of many programs which have come and gone over the years. Long-term sustainability has yet to be achieved. However we are now at a point in technological development and global communication abilities where sustainable programs can be developed and implemented and the community can gather to communicate successes and failures and to share knowledge and ideas. As education is changing with the rapid growth in technology, working actively within the new paradigm to bring together the various stakeholders in a sustainable manner is important. Stakeholders include telescope network owners and operators interested in providing telescopes for education, the educators, the curriculum designers, and the program evaluators. There is a need for an active and dynamic online community meeting space, as the developing community constructs its collective knowledge base and networks of people, technologies and pedagogies. This paper presents a framework and rationale for such an endeavor.