I would like to explore if only for a moment the idea that we are all in a major budget crunch. As much as I would like to make a joke about the fact that this is only fantasy, I know that it is head-aching reality for many of us.
With shrinking budget and possibly some layoffs in nearly every educational institution, it is hard for me not to consider just how we can make sure that change doesn’t get taken off the table when the important decisions get made. So, here is my plan:
I propse that we don’t create anything that isn’t scalable (although this isn’t directly related to Stephen Downes idea of what not to create in 2009, I think I should mention it here.). I propose that we don’t create things that require huge amounts of people to maintain. I propose that we don’t build any website, forum, community, blog, portal, LMS, CMS, aggregator, or repository if it only works at a small level or requires huge amounts of time and effort to coninue to expand.
As much as I would like to make sure that I continue to be useful to all of the projects that I create, I would like to stop working on things that require me as part of them in order to work. I would like to make me obsolete as many times as I possibly can. I would like to build self-sustaining learning networks and portals that people do not need to keep on troubleshooting. In fact, every project that I now undergo should follow this plan:
I’m not sure that there is much else to it. If I am building things that require more and more of my time, there truly will never be enough time for everything, and then all movement toward change stops. With all of the downsizing going on, I have a feeling that all programs that aren’t scalable and require specific people are the ones that are most likely to kick the bucket. This may seem counterintuitive. It may seem like by making yourself indespensible to a particular program, you are ensuring that you have a job in the future. Rather, you are just making your program more easy to eliminate, taking you with it.
By making all projects scalable, you can not be tied to any one of them. By continually building new environments and learning more and more from the connections around you, it is possible to become so valuable for your strategies for creating learning that you must be a part of them. Or, at least, that is the hope.