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The only barrier is an internet connection and a device to access a multi-verse of easy to use options, the weight of published opinion has lessened. At one time, people's endorsements made a difference in the world as only a few were allowed to have elevated thought and ideas projected via a handful of platforms. Those days are long gone though, so I can't help but feel underwhelmed by the fabricated career titles of past generations. Professional blogger, TV commentator, industry critic; when the world has a voice, we are all these things in our own spaces and own ways.


Everyone can be an "idea person" and every one has platforms that allow them to do so. We no longer have the 70s, 80s and 90s world of channels of input from a handful of powerful people (due to limited number) dictating what we see and think. It is not to say that critics are not without their place; it is important to be a critical of industries, institutions and tribes. Without critique, how can one grow? How can a tribe strengthen its ideals?

However; critique alone is not enough when it comes to digital engagement. Is technology difficult? Sure, I guess it can be extremely off-putting to learn code when faced with the easy transition of human language => human critique. But code is how we can change the fabric of society if used effectively. You think Uber just screws with society without realizing it? Or Facebook? Or Google? Or anyone that uses more then just {}'s to build "products". Often these "products" are vehicles of change if viewed correctly. Code allows us to manipulate the rules of the universe in this way. How humans engage, how we create, and how we interact with one another.


This is especially important in education. Unlike other sectors, education often aligns what's possible based on what exists in order to teach topics it projects will be relevant to learners in the future. If an industry isn't going to exist in 5 years, we most likely (unless your a crony for-profit ;) ) teach topics that won't continue to exist or be areas of interest. (There are few areas of study around creating mechanical printing presses). So call it the millennial in me ('84) but I can't stand around and solely be a critic in our space without action. I see educators who critique practice, then implement different method in their own practice, share it with others and form communities of practice as a result. That's how it should be! If you are critiquing a space, you should be providing, through example, viable alternatives yes?

But when it comes to technology, the same exploration often boils down to "I adopted my own content site" or "I just send my students to Google Sites". It's about adoption of what exists in the world, not a critical analysis of what doesn't yet exist. For example; if a faculty member has access to an LMS (exists), and say video is difficult to upload (doesn't exist); the spoken solution might be "we need a video solution that plugs into our LMS". This is akin to sunk cost logic from the business realm. The reality might be though: "I need a way of delivering lectures online and I have better things to do so just make this work so I can do my job". In this regard, the video platform is not a solution but a Band-Aid that will be "meh, good enough" for the problem that actually exists (streamlining the entire lecture capture process end to end no matter where the deliver end-point).

Critiquing critique

If we continue to simply critique this scenario without fundamentally changing it we'll never grow beyond the solutions and methods of teaching we have today both in residence and in online environments. If we don't actually build anything we'll never be any better than the market forces us to be! So if you're not a millennial, if you don't think education is just a market, and if you want to take more action then just selection of less terrible options in 2018... repeat after me:

I am a maker.

I am creative.

I am unique.

I am important.

Believing this makes me powerful.

Belief alone is not enough.

I know I need to take action.

I know I can make a difference.

I know I'm not alone in believing this.

I know together we can fundamentally transform education.

I know that by transforming education, we will change the world.

You, just now


Together, I know there is nothing we can't build, nothing we can't solve, and no limit to our ability to not just critique the industry; but to change if for the better. Anyone only telling you the system is broken, or that others are wrong, yet offer no tangible solution, are not people to continue following blindly. Heed their words? Absolutely. Critique, even from legacy career titles is important as a foundation. Critical analysis makes us stronger after all.

But there comes a time when it's time for more than just words. And as a millennial, I not only demand action, I will take it. The future is so bright if we’d all just agree to work together to build it. On this blog, and the other areas I work, you'll see nothing but projects seeking to build bridges to other communities of thought and code. Together, perhaps we all can turn the internet into an even greater platform for educational experiences.

I hope to create, build, and grow that vision more with you in 2018 and beyond. Thank you.

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Crazy, abrasive, caring, dreaming the world into existance we need, not the one we have.

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