Audiobook version of 25 Years

Earlier in the year, Clint Lalonde contacted me to say he was interested in doing an audiobook version of 25 Years of Ed Tech. He then proceeded to put together an amazing cast, with global friends and colleagues each reading a different chapter. And then Laura Pasquini suggested doing a podcast where people would discuss each of the chapters.

This is now coming to fruition and Clint has set up a site, complete with snazzy trailer, and Laura has the podcast hosting sorted. The chapters are coming in and there is a release schedule starting Nov 2nd.

This has been a strange mixture of exciting, humbling and embarrassing. I mean, take a look at this list of people who have given up their time to record chapters:

  • Bonni Stachowiak
  • Jeffery Saddoris
  • Laura Pasquini
  • Tim Carson
  • Ken Bauer
  • Angela Gunder
  • Brian Lamb
  • Lorna M. Campbell & Phil Barker
  • Tom Farrelly
  • Lee Skallerup Bessette
  • Catherine Cronin
  • Chad Flinn
  • Sukaina Walji
  • Grant Potter
  • Julian Prior
  • Simon Horrocks
  • Terry Greene
  • Clint Lalonde
  • Laura Czerniewicz
  • Rajiv Jhangiani
  • Brenna Clarke Gray
  • Deb Baff
  • Maha Bali
  • Caroline Kuhn
  • Anne-Marie Scott

As an author, I’ve learnt several things. The first is that I never envisaged it being an audiobook, and from my own experience of reading a couple of chapters, I might have written it differently if I did. Hearing someone else speak your words makes you much more aware of clunky sentences and repetitions. So the next book I write will be with the idea of inflicting it on someone to read aloud, which even assuming that doesn’t actually happen, will improve the writing.

Secondly, I realised I have no idea how to pronounce some of the names I use in references, or indeed some of the words I use. I still haven’t forgiven David Kernohan for phallogocentrism or myself for including it.

But the key take away has been the benefits of publishing openly. 25 Years is published by Athabasca Press under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence and they were happy for us to do an audio version. Because it’s free readers could download and read their sections without being sent a copy, and we can quite and riff off them in the podcast. Plus there is Bryan Mathers artwork to share and remix, and my accompanying bits and bobs on the website (timeline, playlist, etc), as well as the original blog series. The audiobook and podcast then form a part of collection of stuff that is dynamic and goes beyond the book. The book then becomes a starting point for consideration or conversation, but not a definitive account. Anyone could do a completely different 25 Years or at least a different entry for a particular year or technology. I like this blurring of the authority of a book, in the same way that open textbooks can be adapted by students, it changes the nature of what a book is and how it is used.

But for now, I’m excited to get to hear all the chapters, and to all those who contributed – thank you, and I’m very, very sorry.

4 Comments

  1. When I first encountered this community, one of the first readings I did was “The Battle for Open”. I remember you calling me your agent or some such thing (tongue in cheek of course) as I was constantly suggesting on Twitter that others should read this and purchase if possible to support the author.

    Little did I know then that I would go on to meet you at OpenEd16 then hang out and go to hockey and football (the US sort) together at OpenEd19. What a privilege to meet you and others Martin.

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