Finding Joy in Our Learning Technology Community

Some things to be thankful for this terrible week.

November 9, 2016

This has been a terrible couple of days.  

There is really no way to adequately express our degree of surprise, disappointment, and worry.

Nobody I know saw this coming. (Did you, I didn’t?).

Every conversation on campus seems to be begin with shared expressions of disbelief.

It is for this reason that I am immensely grateful for the privilege of going back to work - of going back to campus - on the days after the election.

On the days after 11/8/16 academic life continued. Classes were taught. Students were advised. Research progressed. Grants were worked on. Committees met. Papers were graded.  

And those of us working at the intersection of learning and technology did what we do. We collaborated with faculty on their course development and their teaching.  We worked on residential, blended, and online courses. We tried to figure out ways to advance learning.

The people that I work with at the intersection of learning and technology are the best people on the planet.  

The field (or discipline) that exists at the liminal place where learning and technology meet is populated by a set of brilliant, generous, positive, and forward thinking individuals. Hilarious and irreverent people. Troublemakers and pirates. Hackers and the highly social intelligent.  Hard working educators with big ideas and a generosity of spirit.

The learning technology world is small. We all know each other. There are disagreements and fractures in our community. Misunderstandings and arguments.  But these fissures are tiny in comparison to the mutual respect that we feel for one another. Ours is a learning technology community that disagrees on many things - but shares (I think) a set of fundamental values.  

We identify first as educators, and only secondly as technologists. We believe in the power of education to change lives. Values such as inclusiveness, diversity, openness, transparency, empathy, and respect for difference are deeply embedded in our practices.

The results of the 2016 election are terrible - almost unimaginably so. The opportunity to collaborate with our learning technology community - both on our campuses and across our profession - is a great antidote for the depression brought on by the results of 11/8/16.

In the months to come I hope that we find new ways to support each other. That we go out of our way to listen to our peers and colleagues. That we strengthen our networks and nurture our community. That we help each other out. That we appreciate each others strengths. That we go out of our way to be a bit more patient and a bit more generous with each other.

The best part of working at the intersection of learning and technology is the people.  

This week - more than most weeks - I am incredibly thankful to be part of our learning technology community.

How are you finding ways to stay positive this week?



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