Before I (re)start (ed)blogging, if that is indeed what ends up happening here, I feel like I should think about why I stopped.
Because I worked in education and technology in the early years of the modern era (1995ish)—and because I had fallen into early use of the Internet (BITNET!) and primitive email (and eventually the web) as part of my creative writing efforts and a desperation to connect with other writers outside of my little Alaskan town, with all the tendency toward confessional writing you’d expect from a poet in those days—I naturally “blogged” and only a little less naturally wrote about education and technology.
I owe pretty much all of the career I’ve had (and my never-ending impostor syndrome) to friendships I made during the subsequent golden age of blogging, before [insert your preferred suspects here, usually to include the rise of social media] gutted the scene.
Looking back at my writing over those years—I still have a lot of it scattered around in files despite my propensity to metaphorically burn my writing every few years—my questions and my (lack of) answers have remained remarkably consistent:
- What comprises pedagogy as we roll into a (deeply unevenly distributed) networked and digitized age?
- What does the social part of learning look like in the light of new technologies and their effect on society?
- Are we witnessing the emergence of a new orality?
- Does the space where networked and collaborative writing technologies overlaps with tools of creative augmentation and multimedia represent a new genre?
- Is now our chance to break out of the seemingly endless cycle of pioneering, rebellious, skeptical educational thought emerging and fading away with (at best) barely perceptible impact on education as most will experience it?
I used to think, not just with blogging but also through my work and teaching, that I was finding my way toward some answers and might even have something original and useful to contribute to the discussions.
Then, in a perfect storm of job changes and near self-obliteration at the hands of unrelenting depression, something—many somethings, in fact—broke in me and an externally imposed period of isolation turned, seamlessly, into a self-imposed silence.
The sequence was roughly: nothing left inside → nothing at all to say → nothing worth saying → nothing new to add to what my betters were saying.
I’ve continued writing, just not about education and rarely in public.
So I’m using the 9x9x25 Challenge, the last number quite literally, as a way to restart some kind of public writing practice.
If you’re looking for superb solutions, powerful profundity, fascinating facts or prescient practice, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere.
This is a place for parentheticals, a fortress of footnotes and an address for alliteration.
On my mind lately (AKA things you might find here in the future) at least loosely related to education and technology:
- Mindfulness, meditation, attention and focus.
- The stale fiction of intellectual property.
- Creative constraints and their relationship to practice (in multiple sense of the term).
- The value of learning by heart.
- The problematic concept of “digital citizenship.”
- Positive productivity.
We’ll see what happens…