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Biker stops at TU on 31,000 mile trip

25 June 2013 By Daryllee Hale, Arts and Life Editor 3 Comments
Self-sustaining tour advocates for free education for all in U.S.
Daryllee Hale/ The Towerlight

Daryllee Hale/ The Towerlight

Biking and canoeing across the world may seem impossible for some, but for Max Peer, it is a way to spread the message of open access to free education materials.

Peer is part of the “Share the Knowledge Tour,” a project by the Interaction Design Foundation (IDF) and business software developer SAP, which made a stop at Towson on June 14.

Peer, whose tour will encompass approximately 31,000 miles, traveled from his kickoff location in Orlando to his fourth stop at Towson. He said that promoting IDF’s goals is important because of the opportunities it gives to students.

“The main message is about free education and it should be not important what your social background is or what your financial background is and where you live on this planet,” Peer said.

Peer’s tour, which is completely self-sustaining, is currently focusing on universities across North America, but will take place over four years and reach other continents including Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.

Peer arrived at Towson by bike before giving a presentation outlining IDF’s free education programs as well as “Open SAP,” an online learning platform. Nicole Schiraldi, communications and events manager for the Division of Innovation and Applied Research at Towson, said that Peer’s visit to Towson was in line with the University’s goals.

“Towson is all about design thinking and innovative ways of teaching students and helping them learn,” Schiraldi said. “We’re all about new ideas and technology, creative ways of doing things so I think it’s a great message that [Peer] is spreading.”

Daryllee Hale/ The Towerlight

Daryllee Hale/ The Towerlight

The message also affected junior political science and Student Government Association Chief of Staff Gayon Sampson.

“What I got from the presentation today was perseverance, getting through anything… it gave me some inspiration to continue to move on when I think things are hard,” Sampson said.

IDF currently has over 8 million readers using its free education materials, and Peer hopes to use the “Share the Knowledge Tour” to help this number grow.

“I try to bike and canoe as much as possible and to show what can be done if someone puts some effort behind it and if people get a little bit of a start uphill,” Peer said.


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