Over the years I’ve been involved with a couple of multi-author blogspaces, both of them rooted predominantly in the American educational scene. First, there was the George Lucas Foundation’s Edutopia project, a highly organized initiative out of California that has developed and grown over the years to include a number of bloggers, networks and resources for educators living and working in schools south of the border.
More recently, I joined the Cooperative Catalyst, a grassroots group of educators committed to supporting each other as we work through thinking about schools and the education system in the 21st century.
As I’ve become more and more immersed in the world of online conversation and social media, especially around education, I’ve often thought that there may room to create a space, much like the Cooperative Catalyst, that offers those working and living in the Canadian context a place to gather, share their writing, their thinking and their ideas about this place we call school.
So, I’m inviting you to consider becoming part of a multi-author blogspace dedicated to rich and diverse conversation about schooling on the Canadian landscape. Whether you’re a teacher, a parent, a student, an administrator, a researcher, or a member of the tax-paying public, you have a stake in the quality and success of not only the school in your own community, but in the quality and success of schools right across the country (and beyond!). Whether you hang out on the political right, left, or somewhere in the middle, your perspective is important if we are going to move conversations about education out of the little pockets of resonance that currently exist and into the mainstream. Whether you’re from the East, the West, the North, or somewhere in between (do we have a south?), your unique voice and stories can help us understand the subtleties and nuances of schooling in Canada.
So, I’m looking to get the ball rolling on an idea that has been bouncing around in my mind for sometime now: to create a welcoming, respectful, but challenging muli-autho space for multiple conversations about education and schooling from a Canadian perspective. In my mind’s eye, it would be a place to discuss common themes, introduce new ideas, engage in writing from multiple perspectives, and offer thoughtful reflections on each other’s perspectives.
The space of which I’m dreaming wouldn’t be an end point for thinking; instead, it would offer both participants and visitors a type of collective jumping off point for some powerful and diverse conversations. It wouldn’t replace the current blogs and network spaces in which you already live; instead, it would represent a type of virtual “pub” or “campfire” around which to gather.
So that’s my initial idea and, over the next week or so, I hope to get some feedback on the concept before moving ahead with building the parameters or the infrastructure to support it.
What do you think? Is this something that intrigues you? Would you be interested in participating in the initial stages of building this type of concept here in Canada? Do you know of a place where it is already being done here? Do you have any thoughts or ideas that might help to grow the idea?
Let me know what you think, and we can take it from there. I’m always excited by new ideas; I’m even more excited when ideas become mobilized and put into action!