(First of all, hello! If I haven't met you yet, I'm a new summer intern here at the EdLab. Picture to come soon, hopefully. Looking forward to working with all of you...)
As someone who's a little obsessed with amassing information (as I expect many of you may be as well), I've been spending some time lately checking out the resources surrounding President Obama's Open Government Initiative. For those of you who haven't been following this development, the project features a few newly created/redesigned websites that aim to provide the public with more opportunities to gain information about the workings of government or participate in an exchange of ideas. For example, a site called data.gov,which is centered around data sets published by government agencies, recovery.gov, for Recovery Act spending, as well as an opportunity recently announced for public citizens to brainstorm policy ideas. More resources available here.
Despite a little skepticism on my part as to the extent to which data will actually be provided or policy ideas seriously considered, these kinds of resources definitely excite my inner researcher. Browsing through them, however, has also gotten me thinking about how well we've prepared the general public to take advantage of these kinds of resources.