From challenge to grad school at 250 W.P.H.

One year ago today I started blogging. I have written 19 posts containing a total of 16,404 words (not counting this post, my 20th). On average each post takes about 3.5 hours to write, proofread, re-write, re-proofread, and re-re-write.

Looking back
As I reflect on the time and effort I have invested in blogging this year, I am drawn to the very first words I wrote here: “Today I was challenged…” 

Thank you to everyone who has challenged me and has set the bar of expectations high for me to reach. Writing about ideas and engaging with each of you online and offline has been a tremendous experience for me to grow and to learn.

I decided to start this blog because I did not want to respond to that initial challenge (to develop an opinion about MOOCs and how they will affect the world of education) only to bury that opinion in the archives of Gmail; and now my ongoing goal of writing every month has only been possible because of the support and engagement of the people who have taken the time to read and discuss these ideas with me. Thank you!

Looking ahead
If each blog post takes me about 3.5 hours or so to write, then on average I write about 250 words per hour. But I am capable of typing somewhere around 100 words per minute. So most of my time writing blog posts is spent not writing anything at all. Most of my time is spent developing ideas and hunting for the right language to capture them. It has been a year of slowly, deliberately exploring ideas that fascinate me.

I have learned a lot through this process, and perhaps one of the most important lessons I have learned is how much I enjoy this process itself. It turns out that I really like spending a quiet Saturday morning questioning, reflecting, and writing. I have learned that taking the time to work through this process is in fact part of how I have fun.

My interest in this work has evolved to a point where now I plan to explore the questions that have filled this blog more formally: I have just been accepted to the Learning Science and Technologies program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education! The LST program focuses on “the intersection of collaboration, creativity, complexity, and computation.” I think I’d like to make this intersection my home address some day.

In one year of blogging I have gone from “Today I was challenged…” to becoming a graduate student. My future will certainly be busy — filled with teaching full-time, studying part-time, and hopefully still blogging sometimes — and I look forward to seeing where these new challenges will lead me in the years ahead.

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