So, how did you celebrate Ada Lovelace Day? Did you go out and write a computer program to celebrate? Did you do something new and earth shattering? Were you in pioneer mode? Did you make a blog entry? Did you post something to your webspace? I had a do do do do moment last night. I’m in a hotel in Mississauga and the cleaning person left her card on my desk. Guess what her name was?
If you did, great! If you didn’t, why not?
I was in a meeting all day, totally riveted to the topics and completely focussed on the task at hand. Mostly…
I also had been focussing on the importance of programmers like Lovelace and the contributions that such pioneers have made to the human condition which makes life so much easier for all of us. Without these people, can you imagine where we would be today? They took the risks; they shared their expertise; they tried (probably failed a lot) and then succeeded.
I also had thought about Ian Juke’s presentation that he had made at the National Staff Development Council conference earlier in the year. One of the things that Jukes brings forth so eloquently is the ties to Moore’s Law and now technology innovation is increasing exponentially. He also makes reference to the expansion of human knowledge and information. Futurists are always talking about the time that it’s going to take to double human knowledge and information and they often make reference to the visual of the number of times that the Library of Congress could stack up to the moon and back. Some days, it feels like my in-box.
I’ve often wondered in these visuals about the actual content of these visuals. Is it really new knowledge and understanding or is it just the same old tripe repeated over and over again? And then over and over again.
Or does it even matter?
I’d suggest that it doesn’t. Except for the shock value in a presentation, who is going to read and/or catalogue that stuff anyway? Did Ada Lovelace even consider the reach and impact of her efforts? Probably not. It was just the right thing to do. We now all have this romantic notion of a computer pioneer that lives to this day.
So, how about each one of us? Most of us are not in a position of cutting edge thinking with something new like Babbage’s machine. What we are in a position, particularly in education, is to share the stories and techniques of what works and what doesn’t. With the power of current technologies, we all can contribute to something better. We can share lesson plans, ideas, newsletters, blog posts, wiki entries, … in a manner that’s unprecedented. If you are doing something that you feel is unique and innovative, why now share and write about it; develop and distribute some materials in the best spirit of open education and learning?
There truly are limitless resources that other pioneers have tried and made work. But, how many times have we created a new concept or melded an existing one into something that works better for us? New ideas, big or small, that change the course in your sphere of influence make an impact and if they’re worthy of your use, are valuable to others.
So, why not create and share the concept. The impact may not be immediately apparent but may become of real value to others. You never know who you’re going to touch.
And, make sure that you’re using the tools to get the information out. Blog about it, post it to your website, let the world know via Twitter, create a PDF of your class newsletter and make it available to others. But, just create something, determine your comfortable level of copyright, and then share it.