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What ‘matters’ in education far outstrips the tally of what ‘counts’. Lekeyten, the Elder in Residence at Kwantlen, made this clear when he opened the Digital Pedagogy institute, which takes place on unceded territory, by talking about how we owe gratitude to the people who made it possible for us to be here, especially family, and how we owe hope and knowledge to our students, future generations, and the people we will return to on Monday.

Gratitude, hope, and knowledge remain noncountable.

When gratitude and hope translate into the hard work of flexibly mobilizing to preserve shared values, then we have what Zeynep Tufekci would call strong network internalities. The external gains in networks are easy to count – how much money did we raise, how much did test scores increase – but the “internal gains achieved by acting in networks over time” really matter. Tufecki writes,

“Network internalities do not derive merely from the existence of a network – something digital media easily affords – but from the constant work of negotiation and interaction required to maintain the networks as functioning and durable social and political structures.”

I marvel at the constant work that has created Digital Pedagogy and feel privileged to be welcomed there by people who I owe so much to. I’ll sleep well tonight for there’s hard work ahead.

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Jesse Stommel & Sean Michael Morris framed the writing track through the contrast of what ‘matters’ and what ‘counts’ in education and writing. Bill Fitzgerald brought up ‘network internalities’ in a twitter conversation with me this morning.


Justin Veenema

I footnotes