Wednesday, January 05, 2011

What am I doing!?

This new year break, I've had time to consider my directions. For one, I'm thinking to drop my efforts to propose open educational policies and practices at the University of Canberra. It just seems to be much harder than it should be at the moment. The reception is not there, and the connections aren't happening. Instead, I think it would be more productive to return my focus on researching and understanding networked learning. This mainly has consequences for that un-PhD I'm doing btw.

A second thing to spark larger doubts has been to look at this blog's stats (since collection began mid 2010).

Normally I don't pay much attention to the stats on my blogs, I don't really see the point. But since I've started including posts on stuff I do outside education and networked learning, its interesting to see the comparison. This is mostly revealed graph 3, where my post Starting a rocket fire thermal mass heater has had 3 times the views as the next most popular post How and why I'll do a PhD

As far as the education related posts go, it is slightly disappointing to see that so many posts I consider to be important, don't even rate on the charts. This sense of disappointment existed long before looking at the stats mind you. The almost complete lack of connection I seem to have to any Australian or New Zealand network of people who share and converse around issues of networked learning and open education has troubled me for a long time. Made worse by watching our North American and UK counterparts cut sick with dialog, development and good times. I don't know why this is...

Based on my very infrequent postings on "outside" interests, I find there is a more receptive audience, and a stronger online learning network around topics of sustainability and alternative energy. I have had excellent feedback on the Compost hot water project - including local news reporters, websites and very helpful comments on Youtube. Likewise, very surprising requests to help build rocket fires too. These responses come well before I can claim any expertise or worthwhile experience in the field, imagine what might be possible with more focused attention. To be sure, I very much enjoy working on such projects, but once again, least liking the frustrations in finding local contacts and suppliers. 

If I had some capital behind me, I'd be investing in the Container house project (featured in the recent Tron movie (0:56) btw!)  and combining in the rocket fire, compost heater, and I haven't mentioned the compost toilet yet...

By comparison, I don't enjoy working in education, demonstrating and proposing new practices to what amounts to being a non responsive, often hostile audience, with near zero connection to any measure of a local learning and research community, and all that after 7 years working at it too! I feel a new year's resolution coming on...

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