“Quit, Complain, or Innovate”?

This title come from a post on the reliable Will Richardson’s Weblogg-ed. Though most of the post is positive and forward-looking, the title clearly reflects a sense among many people about the choices surrounding the implications and impact of new technology in education.

Yet as my institution grapples with the implications of a new president who has asked the faculty to be forward-thinking, creative, and innovative, I wonder if this same sentiment is an appropriate description of our curricular and institutional choices (and I think some of my colleagues fear it’s our future).

Now, to be honest, among faculty, quitting is rarely an option, at least in the form of leaving one’s job, since the market is so tight right now, especially if one has roots of family and friends in a particularly geographic region. However, there’s quitting and then there’s quitting.

Complaining is always an option of faculty. [Some might say it’s an area that we’ve claimed and reclaimed over and over.] Still, despite succumbing to this myself at times, it’s hard for me to see this as the only option. [Does this have to be a single choice? Can’t I do both? Well, why not!? — See how easy it is for complaining to start? And how quickly it turns into whining, which is even worse.]

So that leaves us with innovate. To me this is exciting, exhausting, invigorating, and downright scary. What we do with this is left to us (though likely with significant leadership from our administration). We have to live with it. But we also have to live with ourselves, our students and our institution if we don’t change things now, if we don’t adapt, if we don’t look towards the future of higher education and learning in general….

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