I don’t mean here that we should refuse online education, to be clear. I would rather faculty and students and staff be online than dead. I care. But what I do mean is that we need to resist this impulse to have the machines dictate what we do, the shape and place of how we teach and trust and love. We need to do a better job caring for one another — emotionally, sure, but also politically. We need to recognize how disproportionate affective labor already is in our institutions, how disproportionate that work will be in the future. We need to agitate for space and compensation for it, not outsource care to analytics, AI, and surveillance.
We must refuse to be watched over, to have students and staff watched over by machines of purported loving grace. We must put our bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels and make the machines stop.
So, there is reason to celebrate (briefly), but then you must act! Use this time to remake schooling in a way that’s more humane, creative, meaningful, and learner-centered. This is your moment!
In the absence of compelling models of what’s possible, the forces of darkness will fill the void. Each of us needs to create models of possibility.
Care needs to be central.
The hard part, then, isn’t the changing it.
It’s the wanting it.
Student separate into two categories… those that care and those that don’t care.
The problem with threatening people is that in order for it to continue to work, you have to continue to threaten them
If we’re trying to encourage people to care about their work, about their world, is it practical to have it only work when someone is threatening them?
Once we jointly answer questions like “why would people care about this” and “how does this support people starting to care about this for the first time” and “will this stop people who care now from caring”, we have a place to work from.
I’m in this business because i think i might be able to help, here and there, with trying to build a culture of thinkers.
When children are tiny, they are reliant on the gentle nurturing of adults. They need us to play with them, to give them lots of warmth and attention and love. As they grow older we can be a bit tougher on them, show them how to stand up in the world that they live in, and help them succeed. But when they are tiny we need to handle them gently. And they are only tiny for a very short while. So maybe we should all tread softly, lest we tread upon their dreams.