January 07, 2006

Something viral in the air

Stephen Downes' Edu_RSS is hors de combat at the moment, but his bombshell post was one of the first I saw in this set. Daniel Lemire quotes and comments.

Another in a similar vein is Reinventing Ourselves in 2006 from Will Richardson, and one more, A Season of Discontent, from Dave Warwick, includes this bit of eloquence:

People are voicing a growing discontent with the status quo of the education industry, its resistance to change, and our increasing unhappiness with being a part of an institution that seems more interested in maintaining its own comfort than doing its job ó preparing children for their future.

Dedication to the mission is still with us. If anything it is stronger. It is the heart of our discontent. We live in an incredibly creative time with opportunities whose realization depends on our imaginations more than any other skill or character trait. Yet, we work for an institution that remains grounded in industrial age notions of itself, and we donít like it.

John Pederson really nails it with his Extinction Management - Quit Your Day Job 101:

Today, Iím riding free. I gave up a job that I completely loved, but a job that was seriously conflicting with the creative, idealistic, and passionate part of my personality.

Now and again I find myself near a cutting edge, thinking about or working on something that suddenly gets Attention from others. My feeling of prescience usually doesn't last long, but it's a pleasant bask while it lasts. This time around, it seems like my decision to retire and to follow my nose into whatever seemed most interesting was prescient, and it's gratifying to find that others are sufficiently frustrated with the institutions in which they are immured to actually do something about it. I look forward to what they'll invent.

My basic sense is that educational institutions (and especially those of "higher" education) are pretty uniformly dysfunctional, and that the real fun is to be had in creating and promulgating alternative modes of self-education. The missing link is how to make a living at it, but I don't have to solve that one. One advantage of being of a certain age...

Posted by oook at January 7, 2006 04:40 PM

Well, I already new you were prescient years ago so no surprise to me.

I was surprised to find out how right you were, that the educational insitution actually resist getting with it.

The link to Stephen Downes article tells me it is 'Forbidden' Is their some way to get there?

It all makes me think that those of us who can start to work with a small group of students and do something different must get to work!

Posted by: Ron at January 7, 2006 05:33 PM

"The link to Stephen Downes article tells me it is 'Forbidden' Is their some way to get there?"

Yeah, I accidentally toasted my web server and have to wait until Monday before someone can go in and reboot it. *grumble*

Should be back up first thing Monday.

Posted by: Stephen Downes at January 8, 2006 03:09 PM