A former student employee reached out to me today and, as I've always dreamed of having the experience of a reach teacher, paid me a compliment in the form of successes he now can achieve through imparted knowledge.
..thank you for teaching me more about being a developer than my degree did
Now, the compliment wasn't meant as a swipe at his education, meerly that "on the job" training was more impactful. As we talked, things came to money and endevours he was undertaking which didn't pay anything currently but gave him something to keep busy.
I've been thinking about writing for awhile and so my response to him (more or less) is what follows. It's less a reponse for him then it is for you, whoever you are. Many, many years ago I went on a rant about getting off the bench and into the game; And the concept keeps coming back to me as I see the view from 2017 looking back on btopro in 2012 when I wrote that. Oh Bryan, if only I could have told you how the next 5 years would play out.
I felt it important in talks, blogging, social media, to always reference that this was my life. That I wasn't going away (at least of my own doing) as a way of trying to solidify my commitments to you, the future of education or those currently engaged in it, that these ideas will not dissipate. I will not bow to the monsters of edtech.
Today, I write to these ends as a means of illustrating the next 5 years. Where I see us going, and how bright the future is.
Dr. Jonas Salk
So this is written before it's written about me.
I'm not here for fame. I'm not here for treasure. I'm not here for ego. I'm not here for "work-life balance". I'm not here for traditional advancement.
I'm here to solve problems using the God given talents and fortunate circumstances I find myself in. I recognition, appreciate, and seek to pursue the fullness of the oppurtunity I have before me. It comes to simple truths.
I know we will change the world. In the last year, ELMS:LN has grown from two people with lines to contributing to the platform to five, internally. Externally there is also a developer at another organization with another one starting soon and multiple contributions coming from random individuals across the globe.
I'm here to be like Dr. Jonas Salk, a hero of mine, who when asked who owned the patent on the cure said:
"Well, the people I would say. There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?"
While drastically different in cause and scope of the problem, Salk saw the need to solve a crisis of greater concern then the need to line his pockets. In this regard, I too see education and the production and dissemination of quality educational materials to be in crisis.
"playing for 40"
You see every day, every week and every year of my life I'm always 10 years away from being my hero - https://youtu.be/wD2cVhC-63I?t=3m11s
Knowing our history, seeing where we're heading and what is soon to come.. I feel it important to share the phrase I've been focusing on to keep myself grounded. I keep telling people I'm "playing for 40". This is definitely a departure in mindset from me 5 years ago who would claim a stake in the ground for success based on today. No. I'm behaving as if we're only half way there...and I always will.
I love that clip from the video above; I'm always 10 years away from being my hero. Right now, one of my hero's is me at 40. Now, for context, that's 6.5 years away (oi i'm getting old). But it's true. I'm not focusing on today, I'm focusing on where I see us heading in the next 6.5 years as a community and thinking about how we get to that spot.
Right now, ELMS as a project idea is 10 years old. The Learning Network that we breathe is currently ~4 years old. So if we're only 1/2 way to wher I envision us being... what does that look like? Who do we want to be when we grow up?
Feb 18th, 2024: Get every university on earth to have a level, technical playing field. Ideas should be the drivers of the future, not who's knowledge economy is more built up or financial situation better. Level the technical playing field, start to level other inequalities and disparities in education.
Try to impact every possible learner within or without institutions. Both through formal adoption as well as empowering those with knowledge and information to freely produce, disseminate and mentor with those who are in need of that knowledge.
I believe that through free solutions that work every and anywhere, we can transform education and through transformation of education we can create a better, more perfect society.
How do we get there?
Together. It is a small part of a much more complex ecosystem (society), but I believe that by creating the highest quality authoring and learner experiences imaginable and requiring those toolsets be open source that we can do our small part in making that dream a reality.