Happy New Year, dear Patreon supporters!
I've been meaning to write an update some time last month, particularly as word trickled out that I was putting some of the work of Hack Education on pause. But I had so much to do before the end of December. So much that I am taking a break from social media. I had to write a (much abbreviated) set of articles on the stories we were told in 2018 about ed-tech: part 1 and part 2. I had to finish the bulk of research for Teaching Machines. I had to update all my other various projects with notes that they would go dormant while I finished writing the book. Because as of today, January 1, 2018, that is all I'm doing. I'm writing.
Well, obviously, I'm doing some other things. I'm typing this update for starters. I've got some wild rice in the rice cooker, and I'm going to make some black-eyed peas here shortly for dinner. But I wrote over 2000 words on the book today, and I'm feeling pretty damn good about that (even though if I stop to think about the pace I need to maintain to have a draft ready by April 1, I sort of want to puke).
I have been remiss for not writing something here to explain in more detail my plans for the future. I've mostly avoided social media, but I hear through the grapevine -- that is, through Kin, whose desk is right next to mine -- that people are acting as though I've given up on Hack Education entirely. Not true.
Here's what the landing page of the website says now:
I'm making some major changes to Hack Education this year -- and no, not because I've received venture capital and my investors have told me I have to rewrite the publication's mission statement again. That's a different site you're thinking of...
For a good portion of the year, Hack Education will go dormant. (The archives, I would note, are rich here. Read up.) I'm no longer going to write the Friday "Hack Education Weekly News," my chronicle of all the education, technology, and ed-tech news of the week. I'm ending that series because I'm no longer going to write my lengthy series on the year-in-review either. Not in 2019 at least, as I have to focus on Teaching Machines (the draft is due in April and the final manuscript due in September).
Once the book is done, I plan to return to writing on this site and to publishing essays analyzing what's happened and happening in education and technology. Many of these will be historical, since it seems that so many people who work in ed-tech are utterly ignorant (even purposefully ignorant) of the field's rich (but troubling) history. Some of these will respond to the latest happenings, but I want the work I do here on Hack Education to be less reactive to the bad stuff that gets trotted out daily as "innovation." I don't want to have to read the ed-tech publications that make me so deeply sad about what's being peddled and promoted and so deeply disappointed about people's willingness to read and write and buy that crap. The way we get better and smarter will not be through these ed-tech's marketers and hucksters.
I am hoping that the shift away from compiling all the goings-on for that weekly news round-up will give me more time to think deeply and critically about education and technology, instead of perpetually being enraged by how many terrible and silly things are marketed as "solutions" by folks who just want to sell a product or service -- some aware, some unaware that their very well-funded load of futurist bullshit is pretty damn dystopian.
This site will remain vulture free. No investors, philanthropists, corporate sponsors, or advertisers. Just pigeons.
The way that I get to remain vulture free is, no doubt, thanks to Patreon supporters like you. I did get a decent book advance from MIT Press, but that was spent long ago. I am still an independent writer, still crafting some of the most critical analysis of ed-tech out there. It just won't be published every Friday.
I very much appreciate your continued support (but understand completely if you feel like I'm not doing enough right now to warrant it).
Yours in struggle,