Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
Will Richardson talks about the trend toward change sweeping through the academic blogosphere. As David Wiley comments, "The notion of teacher as DJ may have been implied when people started applying the 'rip-mix-burn' metaphor to education, but lately I can't seem to get it out of my head." Yeah. Richardson adds, "But there's no doubt there is an energy around all of this right now, an urgency even. I'm feeling it in my own life, not just in the education sense but in a more global sense. What difference do I really want to make? What contribution?"

Quite so, and I find myself asking the same questions. And concluding that 2006 will be, of necessity, a year of change for me. I need to work on what matters to myself and the community and in an environment that supports that work, values it, engages with me on it. Where I work now, and where I live now, isn't working for me. I want to work in a place that sees me as something other than a means of transfering wealth from people and government to corporate shareholders, and to live in a community that has culture and diversity, new ideas and new ways of looking at the world. The sorts of things I am writing about and talking about aren't working either. Not because they're wrong - they're not, at least, not in my mind - but I feel a need to explore more deeply, to explore myself, my beliefs and values, and the world in which I live.

You know how you feel that you're on the verge of something important, but just can't wrap your mind around it? That's how I feel. Of course, I may just be deluding myself - I'm very good at that, and have deluded myself about a lot of things last year and during the course of my life. And I doubt that anyone will ever actually pay me to do the sort of things I want to do - we're all so wrapped up these days in funding competitions, commercialization, paperwork, and all that. And maybe there isn't a magic rainbow-land where every day of my life will feel meaningful and engaged and complete. And maybe I shouldn't be typing this, and maybe you shouldn't be reading it. But forget all that. This year isn't last year, and I will be charting new directions to points unknown. Maybe I'll founder, maybe not. But it's now, I think, or never - and I couldn't live with never.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jan 26, 2022 12:01 p.m.