The Year 2020 And Remembering Why We Do What We Do

The beginning of a new decade also marks 10 years for me personally since I left the classroom and joined the team here at Edublogs and CampusPress. I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect back on where we’ve been and actively define what our next 10+ years together might look like.

In 2010, we were still regularly using the term ‘Web 2.0’ to describe applications and websites like Edublogs, WordPress, and social media platforms where users create and publish content.

2010 was the year that the first iPad came out but mobile traffic was still a tiny portion of all website visits. It wasn’t until 2017 that mobile traffic would become greater than that of users on desktops.

2010 was the year that Facebook overtook Google to become the most visited site on the web, which led to Mark Zuckerberg being named as Time’s ‘Man Of The Year’.

And does anyone remember the popular ‘Klout‘ service that ranked us all and our social media influence? This was all before the term ‘social media influencer’ was even a thing.

That brings us to today – where we may not still say ‘Web 2.0’ anymore, but we’re all actively part of building the information on the web in one way or another.

With today’s web, we are all more aware and more impacted than ever by false and misleading information, cyber-bullying, and trolls.

We are all learning our way around data privacy and the impact that our digital footprint can have.

We are continuing to silo off our interactions into separate ‘networks’ and applications for specific purposes and audiences, like for photos (Instagram), for families/groups (WhatsApp or GroupMe), or for work (Slack).

Our expectations of content that we will consume have changed – binge-watching shows is a relatively recent phenomenon. Does this maybe suggest that ‘binge-learning’ a topic in school (concentrating on a topic all day for several days) could be more engaging in some cases instead of spending less than an hour on it each day over many weeks?

And what we watch, read, and listen to is of ever-increasing production quality. Our students expect this too in our lessons, technology, and curricula resources.

Our news is in realtime and for most of us, it is more commentary and opinions than it is a presentation of hard facts. Very much related, students expect more relevancy in their learning and as educators, we walk ever-finer lines in challenging their preconceptions (and checking our own preconceptions at the door).

All of this culminates in a reaffirmation that what we are doing here at Edublogs and CampusPress is as important as ever. We must continue to put WordPress, the very tool that powers over 1/3rd of the internet, in the hands of students to foster authentic publishing experiences. We must regularly reinforce with students what quality content, comments, and feedback look like. We must practice synthesizing what we learn and think critically about the content that we leverage while learning and teaching. Most importantly, we must model and continue to define good digital citizenship as the times continue to change.

I am excited – we have a lot of work to do!

As you look forward to what the next decade may bring, do you have any predictions to share or thoughts to add? If so, please leave them in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

PS: For those that like controversy, the math teacher in me really wants to be on ‘Team 1’ and say that since the very first year was 1 AD and not 0 AD, the new decade won’t really start until 2021. But let’s be real, ‘Team 0’ is more correct. We say the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, etc. such that starting the new decade in 2020 just makes sense. More on what I’m talking about here.

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