In the next week or so, The Huffington Post is going to add some new "blog topic" pages within their existing Technology section. One of those topic pages is going to be "Tech + Education," and I've been asked to be a contributing blogger to that section.
(Update 12-16-09: They've decided to delay the Tech + Education section until January 11th, 2010, so that it doesn't get lost in the holidays. This is perfect, as it gives me almost four more weeks to lose sleep over this.)
(Update 1-19-10: Now pushed back to January 25th.)
(Update 1-26-10: Now pushed back to February 8th.)
(Update 2-11-10: Now pushed back to March 1st. No really, it's going to be March 1st. Maybe.)
(Update 3-9-10: "Before the end of March . . .")
This was not an easy decision for me for a variety of reasons. The Huffington Post is a different space than this blog, and that brings with it both some good things and some not so good things. One of my concerns is that the conversations on that blog can get both off-topic and somewhat uncivil at times. Not only do I not have a very thick skin, but I'm not particularly interested in contributing to something that generates a lot of noise but doesn't actually move the conversation forward.
The Huffington Post is also generally considered to have a political bias, and – while I realize everything has a political aspect to it – I don’t want what I write about (and what we’ve all been talking about these last few years) to be viewed as being on one political "side" or the other. I'm not very much interested in "sides," I'm more interested in solutions. I know it's naïve, but I don't view any of this stuff through a political lens, I just want to write about and think about and talk about learning. And students. And teachers. And technology. And how best to do this thing we call school. And I want it to make a difference.
So I thought about this for a while, went back and forth with myself, and finally decided to give this a shot for a couple of reasons. First, it's an opportunity to take this conversation to a wider and different audience than typically reads this blog. We've all talked about "preaching to the choir" and the "echo chamber," and how we need to engage with folks that typically are not present in our spaces, and this is an opportunity to do that. I've written more than once about teachers and students being willing to take some risks in their teaching and learning, so I guess I better walk the walk and take a risk myself.
Second, and this is the main reason for this post, I'm counting on a secret weapon to help me out with this.
(Stop looking around, I'm talking to you.) I figure if I can bring all of you with me, then I have a much better shot at making this work.
So, here's the deal. Whenever I post to The Huffington Post I'm going to cross-post here, and I'm going to both ask and count on all of you to get involved in the conversation there as well as here. Now, I'm not asking you to always agree with me (although, you know, it would be nice if you occasionally did). What I'm asking is that you bring your perspective as thoughtful people that have been thinking and writing and commenting and struggling with these issues for a while now into a space where many of the folks reading and commenting are coming at this from a different perspective. That doesn't mean their perspective is wrong or that we can't learn from it, it simply means that we need your perspective as well. If you'll join me there, then maybe, just maybe, we can do some good.
What do you say?