Sometime in July of 2005 i started blogging at this address, after a couple of aborted attempts at blogging fiction in other locations. I turned to an educational blog because i had a concept I wanted to explore “the feedbook” that didn’t really fit in my other discussion space at the time (edtechtalk). And this post is the 200th that i’ve posted here… about 40 posts a year.
The past – first two years
Those first two years of blogging, my work really separated itself into straight tech stuff, my fledgling work on communities and rhizomes and a variety of online web debates that I was engaging in (detailed here.) It can be very easy, i have come to learn, to be seen as a ‘technologist’ if you’re an educator that talks about technology. I don’t think of myself as a technologist, but learning how to use the technology has been really helpful in the sense that I’ve been able to host my own projects, design my own approaches and have a certain autonomy. It’s also been social capital that i could use to engage in some cool projects along the way.
What happened along the way
I’ve spent most of my day job time in the past five years running projects in the higher education. I’ve spent most of my own research time putting together my own understanding of how knowledge and learning can be seen through the lens of the changes that we’ve been seeing in the last 15 years (basically since I left the lead silver refinery that was my first job). I’ve come to see policy, understanding how knowledge can be constructed, and models of education as areas of interest. I’ve learned about how organizations work and can learn and adapt to change. I’ve learned to manage people’s expectations and make realistic goals that can be not only accomplished but maintained. It’s been a bunch of learning…
The last three years on the blog
I’ve gone over almost entirely to the concepts of education and tracking my own teaching on the blog in the past three years. I’ve been writing about community curriculum, rhizomes, my ‘feelings’ about OER and bunches about open courses. I’ve been working through concepts that thinking that there was something in the new technology that was presenting a new view of the world, a new way of thinking about knowledge and learning.
What I’m starting to think is that we are actually returning to a long forgotten view of the world. One that we set aside when we discovered the power of print. I’ve got a paper burning up my computer that details this better than I can here in a few words… but let me try anyway. Print, by its nature, forces us towards a finished product. A thing needs to be ‘done’ before it can go to press, and then it can’t be changed. This had a profound impact on the way that we see the world, think about what it means to know and how we feel about learning. These things all have an ‘end’. I point of being finished. Now… we don’t need to be finished anymore.
Looking forward to the next couple of years i’m hoping to continue on the trajectory of the last couple. I want to follow the ideas around learning and print and start to combine it with some of the institutional work that i’ve been doing for the last five years. If only for time management reasons, i need to bring my day work and my educational work together in some way… to take the informal/occasional consulting that I’ve been doing (in and out of my day job) around how organizations can learn, how post-print/post-digital learning can be organized and how policy can navigate the subtle waters between planning for the future(s) and staying solid enough in the present to keep all the stakeholders engaged.
I’m hoping to put my own ideas in a broader format (yes, i too am trying to write a book) and hoping to combine with a few colleagues to work on some more elaborate plans. All in all, its been an interesting 5 years for me here on the blog, and mostly…
I just want to thank you for reading it, for commenting on it, and for making my ideas better for being here.