When I was a teenager, my stepdad taught me how to hit a golf ball. He was a humanities teacher for most of his career (and a bloody good one – speaking as one of his former students), and a single-figure handicap golfer (and still is). Being the impatient teen I was, I’d get frustrated with my perceived lack of progress as he taught me the techniques (physical and mental) that I needed to master if I wanted to get better. I’d feel like I was working as hard as I could, but that I wasn’t getting better. Then, every now and then, I’d ‘spike’, and my skill (or at least the measure of my skill, namely my scores around a course), would move to the ‘next level’ – dropping a few handicap strokes in a short time before plateauing again.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – JFK
Over the last four years I’ve been very lucky. Lucky enough to be part of a company which grew from 12 people when I started in 2008 to become one of the largest financial contributors to the Moodle project in the world in 2012. Lucky enough to become part of a global community of educators in an open source community that has grown to over sixty million users. Lucky enough to meet and work with so many awesome people as we’ve deployed Moodle in many Universities, TAFEs and other organisations around the country. And lucky enough to use Moodle through all of this, watch it grow as a product, watch the Moodle HQ team evolve in size and maturity, as has our own maturity in all aspects of using and supporting Moodle.
But, as always, the only constant in life is change, and now NetSpot, Moodlerooms, Blackboard and the Moodle project as a whole are about to enter a new era. You can read the official announcement here and here, but in this post I want to talk more about how I see this change from my own, more personal, perspective.
Perhaps dead is the wrong term too – “being faced with a potential life threatening illness” is maybe a better way of putting it. Here’s why I ask this.