The following is a response to a recent email I received concerning a decision the higher-ups at the Discovery Educator Network recently made. I tried joining in the forum discussion for this very topic, but for some reason (perhaps their server is overworked at the moment?) I could not.
So instead, I'm posting it here. Be warned, this isn't exactly a positive posting. Part of me is worried about what this could do to my permanent record, but then I think of how friends of mine are now unemployed and I continue.
Way to go, DEN! Let's take people trained as teachers and have them try to find jobs halfway through the school year because at the drop of a hat you've decided the personal touch that the Field Managers provided (I wouldn't even be in the DEN if it wasn't for Rachel, and many of the more technophobic teachers need something more than a web site.) was no longer what you wanted.
Really. That's a great way to show you care.
One forum posting mentioned that its now up to us to carry on, and I agree. It is our job to help out our colleagues when it comes to tech savvy stuff. My first action as a DEN member was to lead a workshop to get teachers blogging, so while I know I have more learning to do I'm far from being a novice.
And while we move to help our colleagues take little steps forward, DEN has taken a colossal step back.
I do feel the need to say that I don't mean to belittle the website in any way. Steve has done an awesome job putting this site together and I know its been a big help to many. Its just that the activities and interactions planned by the Field Mangers were in many cases the necessary bridge that got non-members interested in being members and members interested in being active members.
Since promoting the DEN was a full time job for them, they had the time to promote it well. You know what? My classroom lessons take precedent to being a salesman for the DEN. My Art Club, wife, family, and friends come before that too. The DEN was important to me, but it is far from being a career for me. Saying "Now its your job to step up to the plate" makes me think instead about taking my ball and going home. That isn't a response that you would get from a full time employee.
I understand that I might cool down after a while. Perhaps I might even see the wisdom in the direction the DEN is taking. (I've yet to see a worthwhile explanation, just some corporate lingo about shifts and moving forward.)
But I won't be wearing my lab coat any time soon, I'm removing links to the DEN from my blogroll, the next batch of pictures I need for a lesson will come from Flickr's Creative Commons section rather than unitedstreaming, and right now I'm watching the National Geographic Channel out of spite, if nothing else. I don't even feel bad anymore about my county considering a switch to Safari Montage.
I don't know if I can support an organization that can't even support the very people who helped to make it something worth mentioning in the first place.
At least I had one good year.
[tags]den, Discovery Educator Network, Discovery, mistake[/tags]