Where are we going, where have we been?

As I come out of a somewhat self-imposed holiday hiatus, I’ve been catching up on “end of the year” blog posts.  They have me thinking about where we’ve been this last year and where we are going.

Jeff Utecht deems 2007 the year of the network, and 2008, the year of the live web.   I would agree that 2007 for me has been a year of discovering a learning network that has pushed my thinking, engaged me in a conversation about what libraries and education can be, and has inspired me.   I don’t know if my own network is personal yet–the connections are there, but I look for 2008 to be a year where those connections deepen and I find more partners in my own learning and in what I do on my campus.   

Jeff’s proposition that 2008 will be the year of the live web will pose some very interesting challenges for schools, many of whom are still struggling with accepting blogs or wikis, and now will be bumping up against “live” interactivity issues.   Schools/libraries are still way behind in addressing the issues relating to these technologies.

Both Jeff and  Clay Burell also are pondering what their own teaching will look like in the future.  Once we’re part of learning networks and part of a global conversation about education, how will that change our professional endeavors?  

 Will Richardson shares his fascinating dreams about what learning could look like in the future.   And Will and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach share a project they have begun to transform teacher training into a more long-term, meaningful experience.

So, what do I hope for 2008?  That it’s a year of profound and meaningful conversations about what education can be, and that our voices as stakeholders are heard.   That we realize the power of our combined and individual voices to impact change.  It’s an election year and education needs to be a real part of the conversation.   As Stephen Abrams points out, many issues relating to censorship, filtering, copyright, etc., are likely to rise to the top this year as well.  As stakeholders and educators, we need to be part of all of these discussions.

So, what do I predict for 2008?  A year of real change and transformation–both professional and educational.   I believe conversations like those we will have at Educon 2.0 and NECC and other Educons will help carry our ideas forward.

As Doug Johnson so aptly points out, “To travel fast, travel alone. To travel far, travel with others.”

Here is to a year of traveling far.

2 thoughts on “Where are we going, where have we been?

  1. And to “travel fast and far, travel with can-do, collaborative, yes-and visionaries”?

    It seems like holidays are the most pregnant times for reflection doesn’t it?

    I’m looking forward to the coming year.

    (And “Where are You Going? Where Have You Been?” is one of the greatest, most terrifying short stories I’ve ever read!)

  2. Carolyn, you ask the $64k question (or whatever it’s worth in today’s economy): “Once we’re part of learning networks and part of a global conversation about education, how will that change our professional endeavors?”

    Carol Bly once said that once we’ve learned something, we can’t go back and unlearn it. We’re stuck with the new knowledge and all its implications for our worldview, however discomfiting that may be. You’re right. . . once we’re part of a global conversation, there’s no going back to the old ways.

    Here’s to going boldly into the new year!

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