Down

The world this past couple of weeks have really gotten me down. I used to think that education, and technology, could help people improve themselves, open themselves up to new experiences, believe new things, try new approaches but now I wonder if all that’s just been talk.

I don’t want to blame this talk:

But in some ways, it’s really galvanized a lot of what I’ve been thinking this past month. About how the work I’m doing is not enough. I’m not fighting for what I believe in enough (by the way, that’s work on the open web, understanding digital literacies, criticizing educational technology for putting us in boxes we shouldn’t be in). I’ve become comfortable supporting other’s work while not doing my own work to push for what’s right.

Semester start up always bring these feelings to the forefront – I keep hoping that someone will step forward and do something interesting and innovative. And we keep falling short of that. I keep falling short of that. This post isn’t intended as a pity party, it’s a blatant reminder to myself that I need to find ways to do the work I want to do, work that’s important to do.

2 thoughts on “Down

  1. Down is a good way to describe it. I’m right there with you. Instead of working with instructors and students to create awesome new experiences, I’m making lists of institutionally supported and approved tools that instructors will have to restrict their activities to. Instead of playing with people in designing active learning in a state-of-the-art facility, I’m scrambling to build a support model in time for the next semester.

    malaise. disillusionment.

    how much of this is really out of our control, and how much can we just take back and find the right things that need doing? every time I think I’m pushing toward the right things and important work, I get hit with institutional mandates and enterprise constraints. I’m trying to find ways to say enough of that, and shift things back to where interesting things can still happen.

  2. I wonder, often, if that I’m just pining for a better, more exciting time. At one point in my early career I said wouldn’t it be great if everyone used this stuff? And now everyone does. Maybe I’m the white guy in the 1980’s pining for the 1950’s, waxing nostalgic for a time that didn’t really exist?

    One of the insidious things about this (and I think we talked about it at length when you were here) is that Universities laid off all their infrastructure when they outsourced it to vendors. Now, even if one wanted to start up a Domain of One’s Own or a WordPress Multisite, there’s maybe one guy in a department or a handful on campus that really know servers well enough to run the thing securely. You know how spammy WordPress servers can get first hand…. So while partnering with external companies is great for cost savings, it’s some great neoliberal exchange where we’re cutting ourselves off at the knees.

    Bah, Mondays eh?

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