I look to thought leaders like Anil Dash to help me see trends and to validate online experiences. Writing about a “Web Renaissance”, Anil believes a rising distrust of big tech is leading to people embracing open web standards. Applying this outlook to the realm of education suggests we should make an immediate pivot back to posting things first via websites. Then we should use open standards to cross-publish into common social media platforms. Doing this would help sustain education.
Carving out our own space
I think about the distrust of big tech when I do gardening and work around the house. Back in 2019, I helped carve out a space in our back garden by removing rotting sleepers (above) from a dirt verge. We did the hard work with a pick axe, crowbar, and circular saw. Once the sleepers were removed, we built a block wall that now marks a new space behind our house. I shared a lot of what we were doing by letting my smartphone share images that I snapped during the renovation project. I own those images and I pay for online storage on Flickr where the photos can be easily shared to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Several hundred people see each items I share on social networks but my images on social have a half life as long as the attention span of the average viewer. Since I have the original photos in OneDrive and Flickr archives, the memories of the yard work will cross over into the shared photo albums the family can access for the length of time they pay to keep the online archives active.
Harvesting our best bits
Our ictedu archives are shamefully vacant. Since 2009, we’ve been using Twitter to echo the best bits of each annual ICT in Education Conference. We need to dig into Twitter and carefully extract the most valuable summaries of each of those events. Then we should create a space on the ictedu.ie website to summarise each conference. I think that I published key thoughts about #ictedu on my blog at insideview.ie. Those need to be harvested and repackaged on the conference website. There are images I snapped and saved on Flickr that should be saved into the WordPress ictedu.ie media library too.
None of these ideas will get the traction they deserve unless we start planning with a task list. My preference is to set up an Airtable and then tick away with doing the hard yards. I’m going to use the ictedu blog to track this important process. By building our own self-standing archive, I believe we’re sustaining ictedu as part of the conversation about improving education.