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Dark January Thoughts

1 min read

Been reading Wm Burroughs again and ran across this quote:  “The pyramid of junk, one level eating the level below […] right up to the top or tops since there are many junk pyramids feeding on peoples of the world and all built on basic principles of monopoly.”   

He is talking about the hierarchy of a heroin addict's life, but it occurred to me...no, it shocked me that what he was saying applied to the hierarchies of schooling.  Not a happy January thought, but that is where I sometimes am as I relentlessly burn firewood and keep animals fed and feel the pains of growing older and  no wiser.  C'est le ________, c'est la _____________. You fill in the blanks.



Let the Futuring Begin

1 min read

TechCrunch's Joe Mathewson writes that this year is a tipping point for edtech.  Here are the trends he sees:

  1. Parents Use Technology to Complement Passions
    • Curation Will Become Crucial
      • Teachers Will Embrace, Not Outlaw, Pupils’ Mobiles
        • Expectations Will Increase
          • Cloud Will Come Into Its Own
            • Technology Will Get Embedded
            I am not sure why those who seek to pander to the tech zeitgeist insist on believing that the future is evenly distributed. Or that there is tech equity in these schools.  If anything, the rich will get richer as will the children of the rich.  Those who seek to make a living will have to serve those pools of money if they want to tread water. What will students be like when they have to use their smartphones in school for work.  Will they have wifi access?  Laughable.  None but the newest schools have the wireless infrastructure necessary for full access.  There is so much in every one of these predictions that I see as...murky.  








            Teaching Beyond Tropes http://teachingbeyondtropes.blogspot.com/ Lightning on the sand. A must read post by @EatcherVeggies

            Bot Summit http://tinysubversions.com/2013/11/bot-summit/
            An astonishing collection of experience, video, links, and just plain fun. Wow.

            Working Toward the Wedding Feast of Canaan and Less of the Buffet at CiCi's Pizza

            3 min read

            A response to Mia Zamora's call to lure the lurkers with guilt free learning repasts


            Isn't it more likely that those who lurk will need special help to engage?   is going to involve a lot of hands on hardware/software/self-hosting work. Is it more or less likely that folks will jump in late to that 'situation'?  I suppose it depends upon how you characterize the average lurker.  Are they beginners who are reluctant to show their ignorance? Are they autodidacts who enter when they want something and leave when they have gotten it?  I have always advocated the openness as a profound value, but I also see it as a bit euphemistic.  How open will this course actually be for a n00b.  I mean,  you can put the food down where the goats can get to it, call it food for all, but that doesn't mean it is really open.  So many open questions here.  Declaring it a guilt free zone is a great flourish and encouragement is one of the most important pieces of facilitation in a course like this, but access is always for the privileged.  I know this is a much larger issue, one that you didn't intend to address here, but to be open you not only need truly open initial conditions.  Not sure ours are more than very partially open.  I am really drawn to Ta-Nehisi Coates' experience with learning French.  Anyone can learn French, right?  It is totally open for anyone.  Just ...do what?  This video really brings home for me the burden of openness and of its dear friend, privilege: http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/379544/the-joy-of-learning-french-part-deux/


            That's the complement part of my comment.  Here's the compliment part:


            -taking back 'lurking' as a positive trait, like curiosity.

            -driving fear from the digital space, thanks Saint Patrick Zamora

            -saying out loud that lurking is valued


            One more thing:  I can't prove this, but I think that lurkers are the dark matter and energy of the internet.  They make up most of the invisible mass of the Internet universe and we are only beginning to know who they are.  They are way more than the marginalized ancillaries of what we will do on .  We need to find more ways to connect to their nodes.  I think in the end that what appears to be an important and large hub, connectedcourses.net, is really another node in the larger scheme.  I think unveiling our connections to the lurkers is the future of learning.  Removing fear is only part of that equation.  Extending 'philia' in concrete ways, I would like to see more of that. And I would love to discuss further how we might go beyond putting the guilt-free buffet out as a way to transform the dark energy of the Internet.