There are two gentlemen that I read all the time. They’re constantly pushing and sharing their learning. I like to think that I have been inspired to do what I do largely by viewing them doing what they do. I would encourage you to take a look at their efforts and see if they fit into your learning plan.
Once self-identified as “Moncton’s most prominent cyber-citizen”, Stephen has now moved to Ontario where he’s “wondering where the lions are”. I introduced myself to Stephen at an ECOO conference a few years ago. He was engaged with his laptop either refining a presentation or writing notes but I decided to at least avail myself of the opportunity since I’d followed him online for so long.
Stephen is the king of the tldr for me. I get frustrated when I read a huge long article and get nothing from it. In Stephen’s OLDaily, he does the reading for you and boils it down typically to a paragraph or two. Then, he provides a link to the original article. In his opinions, he doesn’t pull any punches and I’ve been the brunt of a couple of them, like the time he described an interview I had done as “a bit of a softball interview”. I’ve actually been noted in his daily a few times. You can subscribe to his work – I do get the daily and it shows up in my mailbox late afternoon, Monday to Friday. He researches into areas that I wouldn’t even know existed.
I’ve patterned my This Week in Ontario Edublogs series much along his design where he owns the comments in his own space rather than on the web. I don’t think I would have ever attempted that had he not modelled it.
I met Doug Belshaw at an ISTE Conference where he was talking about Open Badges and qualifications. His work at Mozilla in the Open Badges project has changed the way that many think about qualifications and should shake the fundamental structure of institutions owning qualifications in the traditional way we think about education.
Where Downes’ work shows up on clockwork, Doug’s is like surprise gifts. I subscribe to his Thought Shrapnel Telegram post and things pop up unannounced at any time. I do typically take a peek to see what he’s sharing. Of course, the Thought Shrapnel newsletter does get delivered regularly on the weekend.
You’d think that would be enough and his summary of where he’s physically headed will make you tired but he’s active in other places as well.
- Open Educational Thinkering — my main blog
- Thought Shrapnel — my weekly newsletter
- Today In Digital Education — a regular podcast I record with Dai Barnes
- Literaci.es — more in-depth posts about digital/web/new literacies
- Discours.es — interesting links, bookmarks, and quick thoughts
- Ambiguiti.es — a place for more philosophical musings
- Social.coop — where I discuss issues important to me with like-minded people
You can follow Doug on Twitter at @dajbelshaw.
The thing about following people as opposed to following topics is that you become accustomed to their writing and their reliability. Such is the case with both of these gentlemen. They both model a certain element of risk by sharing their thinking but I appreciate that they’re out on the edge. The traditional educational approach of hiding things behind walls and not risking the chance of being wrong just doesn’t cut it.
I chose the term “cyber-journalist” to describe the two of them. I don’t know how they feel about it or how they would describe themselves. I just think that it fits nicely given what they do.