When we arrive, sons and daughters

We’ll build our homes on the water

We’ll build our walls of aluminum

We’ll fill our mouths with cinnamon, now.

The Decemberists, “Sons and Daughters”

We have arrived, Higher Edisons and daughters. Come in and make yourself at home. Let me take your coat. Um, I’ll just drape it over this loveseat. Sorry about the mess. But it’s a nice, airy space, don’t you think? Lots of light and room to move around. I’m still unpacking boxes and moving furniture. I don’t even have a blogroll set up yet—but based on some sensible minimalist thoughts from Chris Watson, I might just skip it. Watch out for the cat. Can I get you something to drink? No? Just here to talk, then?

I recently moved Higher Edison here from its former digs. When a business moves to new location, it’s always classy when they paint-scrawl the new address (“We’ve moved to 325 Industry Boulevard!”) on papered-over storefront windows. My version of that redirect scrawl:

After a too-long, unplanned sabbatical from writing, a period happily packed with parenting and other worthwhile distractions, I’m gingerly easing back into it. I hope. Meanwhile, much has changed. You can say that again.

In the spirit of the new year, fresh beginnings, balance and all that jazz, I’ve decided it’s time to wrap up the blue period in Higher Edison’s evolution. I’m pulling up stakes and moving the whole ramshackle prairie schooner over to WordPress. A herd of reluctant, mooing, tiny-hooved beasts are tethered to the main wagon; I expect they’ll be dragged along on the migration.

If you’ve harbored Higher Edison in your reader, this post’s weak ping may arrive like a signal from a crippled spacecraft drifting at the edge of the solar system. A romantic, alluringly tragic theory. Truth is, this beater has been just down the street the whole time, up on blocks in a musty U-Store-It storage unit. That strange sound you hear? Me rolling up my sleeves.

Last time around, the walls were simultaneously over- and under-engineered: something like titanium covered with rec-room paneling. I’m going to be striving for a simpler, aluminum-walled construction in my writing this time—posts with a generous crumple zone to ensure reader and author safety in the event of a crash. Trying to hit it out of the park every time eventually means not showing up to the ballpark at all. Singles are fine. And bring on the cinnamon. Definitely more cinnamon. The former tagline mentioned being on the lookout for “bright ideas in education and technology,” but that doesn’t really cut it any more. Too general, too generic, too vanilla, too suggestive of dispassionate reportage, and it didn’t say a thing about what should be done with all those bright ideas. And it started to seem like a lie, or at the very least like an honest inaccuracy that would eventually graduate to being an out-and-out falsehood if it went uncorrected long enough, as I found myself writing less about specific technologies than about Web 2.0 as a phenomenon of communication, learning, expression, culture, and flying spaghetti monster of buzzing pop-philosophy; less about education as a manifestation of pedagogy and policy than about the intellectual and creative strands of the lives of the (mostly) K-12 teachers who were blogging about it all, and the glimpses they’ve provided of what it all means for their students. In reality, of course, I ended up mostly writing about my own learning. Doesn’t everyone?

The new tagline space will remain blank for now. In keeping with the name of this blog, I may actually step away from well-trodden K-12 ground occasionally and try to write about higher education—at least, the version of higher ed in which I currently live.

Other strains of cinnamon that may be filling mouths around here soon:  exploration of George Siemens‘ notion of the limitless university and higher ed’s role in professional development for teachers; PLNs; unintended uses of technology that are creative, subversive, disruptive, expressive, expansive, and innovative; weakness for good writing of all kinds, wherever, however, and whenever it shows its murderous, gorgeous little head; cynicism and satire; sweetness and light; educational thought and talk translated into action.

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