Thank You, Jerry


Received your email just over two weeks ago and didn't know quite how to respond. I hope you'll indulge the old blogger in me and accept this as a form of thanks for your note.

We've known each other for some time. I believe it was in 2008 that I started keeping my TeachPaperless blog. That blog brought me into the sphere of many remarkable thinkers in education, yourself included. When I closed shop over there, one of the nagging concerns I had was that it would change my relationship with the broader education community I'd in many ways grown up with professionally.

And it certainly did.

But that's part of change.

In April of 2013, myself and two teachers — Margaret Roth and Rose Burt — started this thing called An Estuary. I call it a thing because that is what it is: a beautiful and difficult-to-describe thing.

Over the last year and nearly-a-half we've been taking what we learned both in the classroom and in working with our teacher colleagues and have been building new kinds of technology which will (hopefully) ultimately benefit not just educators, but learning in the broader sense. Because I get the feeling that in all the talk about technology and, for that matter, new teaching methods and theories and whathaveyou, the thing that most often gets overlooked is learning itself.

And not just learning from a book. Or an e-book. Or a traditional classroom or a flipped classroom. Or a faculty meeting or a Twitter chat.

Learning from the clouds. Learning from the shape of a smile. Learning from a burnt finger. Learning in the form of experience.

And it has frustrated me. It's frustrated me a lot.

Because those clouds and those smiles and those burnt fingers are all we got in the end.

It's not about the tests. It's not about the numbers. It's not about the jobs and the money and the success of some and the failure of others.

It's about experience.

It's about being reminded about why you are doing what you are doing when you open up an unexpected letter from an old friend. It's about getting to the heart of experience and opening it up like an onion for all to see.

That's the thing I'm trying to do, Jerry. I'm trying to bring experience to the front. I'm trying to let folks try on a new pair of glasses and see what has been in front of them all along.

And I don't know if I'll make it. But I've got the most incredible team on earth and there is absolutely no reason not to try. And if we fail, we fail. But at least we won't have to say "what if".

Thanks for the note, Jerry. I'm glad to hear that you'll be moving closer to your grandchildren. They have no idea how lucky they are.


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