Enable people to teach, learn, create, and share, to make the world a better place for all.
I collaborate with people to develop and support tools to help them teach and learn, to help them to aspire to be creative, and to share their work.
Leadership, collaboration, creativity, openness, stability.
They’re all interconnected.
Over a few decades of work, through a few different-but-related careers, I have formed a way of looking at the world. Distilled into guidelines, they are (in no specific order, despite being numbered…):
- Take care of yourself,3 and those who are most important to you.
- Trust people. Believe them, believe in them, and find out how you can best support them in their work.
- Communities are the key4. To everything.
- Share freely - of yourself, of your work, of information. Help others to share as they are able.
- Seek out weirdness. Embrace it. Make some art.
- Take risks. Put yourself out there. Get out of your comfort zone. Learn from mis-steps, and get better.
- Creativity and curiosity are far more important than efficiency.
- Work in the open. Think out loud. Share your notes. People are working on similar things, and we all benefit by bouncing ideas off each other.
- Take responsibility for things you care about. If it’s important to you, make sure it is taken care of. This goes for people and projects. If it’s important to you, make sure it’s going to be sustainable.
None of these have anything to do with technology, nor institutions, nor projects, nor job titles. The work follows. It always has, it always will.
I work in learning technologies. I’ve pretty much always worked in learning technologies. People often assume that means “Information Technologies” or “computers” or “software”. But it’s not. It’s always been about finding ways to be curious, to help others be curious, and to help people share what is interesting to them.
Our tools are important, because they shape what we feel is possible, and what we feel empowered to do. They can limit, or amplify. Isolate, or connect.
Our tools are important, because, as John Culkin said way back in 1967 (building off Marshall McLuhan’s work):
Life imitates art. We shape our tools and thereafter they shape us.
- John Culkin, 19675
So. My focus has always been on developing/providing/supporting tools to enable people to do interesting things to support teaching and learning. The tools are important, but only insofar as they are used to enable people to learn. Tools enable learning which creates new tools which enable new forms of learning.
That is where I can make a difference. To, in my own small way, help make the world a better place.
what I aspire to be in the future ↩︎
what I do today to drive toward the vision ↩︎
None of this matters if you burn out, or your health suffers. This was probably the hardest principle to learn, but it is the most important. ↩︎
Nancy White describes “intellectual estuaries”, where different communities overlap and combine to produce incredible diversity. ↩︎
Culkin, J. M. (1967). A schoolman’s guide to Marshall McLuhan (p. 51). Saturday Review, Incorporated. ↩︎