I’m re-reading for the 3rd or 4th time Toby Lester’s (@tobylester4) magnificent book, “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name.” I just finished chapter 9 last night, which (among other things) discusses the very important “Council of Constance,” which took place over four years from 1414 to 1418 in present day Germany. It was an incredible opportunity for ideas to be shared and exchanged, as well as books and maps. It proved to be an ideologically explosive event, “a super spreader” (to use today’s pandemic terms) of humanist ideas which would fuel the Enlightenment and change both governance and life around the world over the ensuing centuries.

The Kindle quotation screenshots in this tweet capture some of this.

I’m reminded of the incredible power of the connecting technologies at our fingertips and on our screens today in 2021. The same technologies which allowed the “QAnon conspiracy theory true believers” to gather at our nation’s capitol and violently riot, also can allow us to make amazing, positive and transformative connections with both ideas and people. As educators, how many of us are intentionally working to do this? How many of us are bringing these experiences to our students? I participated in a wonderful, hour long conversation tonight on the “Teachers on Fire podcast.” The archive is on YouTube:

It reminded me of my first international “skypecast” back in January 2006, with friends and fellow educators in Scotland, San Antonio, and Canada. I was in my parents basement on vacation in Manhattan, Kansas.

This energizes me to want to seek my own “Digital Council of Constance” experiences with educators and others. I think I may need to start a new series on my podcast.

(cross-posted from Facebook)

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