Nothing like waking up on a drizzling morning in Trento to an alert that George Siemens is offering up a thinly veiled accusation of me being a “brash, attention seeking, or self-serving individual.” Why “or”? Why not “and”? I can live with all three! That’s one for bavatuesdays’s sidebar 🙂 I’m no stranger to being called out publicly for my winning personality, so this really isn’t too surprising or upsetting. Been there and done that with EDUPUNK, and oddly enough the person on the other side of that attack was the very “thought leader” Siemens is lionizing in his post. I guess big thinkers have to stick together, especially as they expand their reach to China.
And that, for me, is the most problematic element of Siemens’s post. Not so much that I become a straw man for taking credit for other people’s ideas, but that there’s a pantheon of a few, rarified thinkers in ed-tech that we need to pay homage to. Fuck that. Especially when the list leaves out so many people that do so much great work. I have been clear again and again that my work has been dependent upon engaging and building a community of folks, starting with the collaboration amongst a core group of folks at UMW who worked under the “Godfather.” I don’t see any mention of the contributions of so many folks like Martha Burtis, Jerry Slezak, Andy Rush, or Patrick Murray-John, and that’s just the UMW folks—there are scores more. But that’s no surprise, because that’s how these grand narratives get written—I guess we were just lackeys for the visionaries, huh?
Seems to me Siemens is abusing his role as a “thought leader” by creating such a sharp division in a field he no longer sees any value in. It’s terrible stewardship of his power, why does an encomium of Gardner have to be an attack on everyone else save the select few he’s nominated for genius? Intellectual history at its most self-aggrandizing. Adios George Siemens, hello something else 😉